Capture and Culture Species
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Illustrations by Chris Van Dusen
Images Courtesy of Seafood Business Magazine

  Latin: Mytilus edulis

French: Moule

German: Miesmuschel

Spanish: Aguja

Russian: Sargan

Japanese: Datsu


Mussels are bivalve mollusks. They are found all over the world in many different varieties. Two varieties of mollusks are common in the marketplace, blue and New Zealand green-lipped mussel. Cultivated mussels have thinner and darker shells than wild mussels but they grow up to five times faster and contain as much as three times more meat than their corresponding wild cousins.


Commercial Aspects

 Exporting Countries
United States, Canada, New Zealand, France, Spain, Italy
Canada, United States, Malaysia, South America, Caribbean region

Primary Consumers
Europe, Japan, United States


Production Trends

Diet/Health Info

Production in the U.S. Canada, and Asia is up. Production in Europe is decreasing. As filter feeders, mussels can collect dangerous pollutants, bacteria, and toxins in their tissues. Among these are the organisms that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. Buyers should be aware of the origin of the mussels they purchase, and the water quality of that region. Clams from afflicted regions should not be eaten raw. U.S. mussels are certified by the National Shellfish Sanitation Program. Most mussels in Europe and New Zealand are subject to a depuration process before entering the market.

 The Global Supply


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