24 July 2017
While reading rings, I find this buoy in town full with blue mussels. This species is only recently found on Spitsbergen. During the excavations of Smeerenburg, Louwrens Hacquebord did find blue mussels, but Simon Troelstra was able to show with stable oxygen isotopes signature that these mussels were originating from the Netherlands. They might have been part of the ballast (usually sand in those days). This is an interesting find. The buoy must originate from Russia, but the mussels were still alive when they drifted in Spitsbergen and people from the Norwegian Polar Institute recovered it. We sample the mussels for DNA and isotope signature.
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