North Menai Strait mussel
Certified as sustainable in November 2010
Species: Mussel (Mytilus edulis)
Location: Irish Sea. North East Atlantic (ICES Subarea VIIa). Seed mussel harvest in Morecambe Bay, Liverpool Bay and Caernarfon Bay. Grow-out operations in Menai Strait (north of the Swellies).
Fishing methods: Enhanced fishery: Seed mussels harvested by dredge for relaying and ongrowing in the Menai Strait before reharvesting for sale.
Number of fisheries: 1
More about mussel
The blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) is a filter-feeding bivalve filtering primary on micro-algae and debris, but at lower rates also on zooplankton. Mussels can withstand wide variation in salinity, desiccation, temperature and oxygen concentration, resulting in the ability to occupy a large variety of microhabitats.The species is ubiquitous around the UK, usually on rocky shores in the intertidal.
More about the fishing methods
The seed mussels are collected by purpose built vessels using multiple small dredges, transported back to the lays in the Menai Strait and relaid – the growers have considerable expertise in controlling the positioning of the vessel during these operations and of the density of the mussels relaid per hectare of ground. Generally speaking, the mussels are laid initially in the upper intertidal at lower densities, where they grow relatively slowly but acquire thick shells, making them less vulnerable to predation and damage during harvesting.
7,112 tonnes in 2008-09
The market for the mussels is in northern Europe (mainly the Netherlands, also to Belgium and France). There is no domestic sale of the product in the UK.
Actual eligibility date
1st April 2010