Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bangor Mussel Producers Fishery Certified

The Bangor Mussel Producers fishery was certified as a sustainable and well-managed fishery. Mussels from Bangor will be able to bear the coveted MSC ecolabel.

The North Menai Strait mussel fishery is an enhanced fishery where two boats use small dredges to catch young ‘seed’ mussels from the beds where they accumulate and then relay them on leased areas inside the Menai Strait where they thrive.

The mussels start off at an intertidal zone (that dries out on most tides) to develop thick shells that will protect them against predators. Over the next 9-18 months, they are moved to progressively deeper waters that rarely get exposed by the tides until, eventually, they are moved to deeper water in denser colonies where they can feed constantly and build up their body mass into a fat, juicy mussel.  Once the mussels have reached a suitable size, the fishermen re-catch them and sell them to the market.

The fishery scored highly for its stock status with the certifier noting that the fishery had a negligible or potentially positive impact on mussel stocks.

The fishery was sponsored through its assessment by The Co-operative’s £200,000 Sustainable Fishing Fund that is sponsoring fisheries across the UK through MSC assessments.

source: MSC press release

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