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Ecosystem Concepts for Sustainable Bivalve Mariculture
native) suspension-feeding bivalves to restore the filtration functions and associated ecosystem services. For restoration purposes, particular attention should be given to (1) establishing genetic husbandry guidelines to prevent loss of genetic diversity; (2) avoiding negative effects of disturbance of vertebrates and other valued species; (3) controlling spread of nonnative fouling organisms, especially certain tunicates; (4) regulating bivalve stocking to require use of eyed larvae from certified hatcheries with an effective and comprehensive disease inspection or to first-generation seed spawned from adult bivalves under quarantine conditions in order to minimize species introductions and disease spread; (5) insuring that bivalve shellfish loading does not exceed levels that have unacceptable negative impacts on the benthos through excessive organic loading or on other components of the ecosystem through clearance of planktonic foods and organic particles from the water column; (6) preventing unacceptable damage to bottom habitat by harvest gear; and (7) assessing the social tolerance for mariculture on a site-specific basis.