Mussel culture in open seas
Mussel culture has consolidated as the first Aquaculture industry in Spain, marketing a high quality product in three different formats: fresh, canned and frozen. Mussels are a much appreciated, popular product with excellent nutritional qualities allowing for great culinary variety. Mussels are also perceived as safe, good value-for-money seafood.
From the production perspective, the cultivation of mussels in open seas poses a difficult challenge, due to the very different conditions to those of the Galician rías, for which the industry has specialized throughout the years.
Lack of shelter combined with strong winds make difficult, if not impossible, routine work in open seas. The need for longer and more expensive boat journeys, and the increased maintenance workload in the production units, were all factors calling for the design of new management protocols essential for the economic feasibility of this type of Aquaculture.
Thus the approach for this challenging Project could not be a simple transposition of traditional mussel culture techniques, but demanded relevant changes involving the implementation of innovative solutions already developed for the cultivation of other aquatic species.
The main features are:
- The production of mussel seed in a dedicated hatchery using local broodstock;
- The reduction in maintenance work, resulting in a reduction in production costs and guaranteeing the continuity of the production cycle;
- The design and construction of innovative production units for on-growing to commercial size, specifically adapted to the selected sites.