Mussel by Britney Wagner. NOT MUSCLE! Blue mussels consist of a group of three closely related...
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Mussel by Britney Wagner NOT MUSCLE! Blue mussels consist of a group of three closely related taxa, a.k.a. the Mytilus edulis complex Mytilus edulis native to the North Atlantic Mytilus galloprovincialis native to the Mediterranean, Western Europe, and parts of the Southern Hemisphere Mytilus trossulus native to the North Pacific, northern parts of the North Atlantic, and the Baltic Sea The Mytilus edulis complex China and Spain lead worldwide mussel production Growing in popularity in the U.S. Mostly distributed around the U.S. from Maine Typically $2-$4 per pound Best time to get mussels is from October May, before spawning Very nutritious Economic importance The life cycle of a mussel starts with developing eggs inside the female The female carries her eggs inside her shell in pouches called gills The eggs then develop into glochidium, which are then set free to find a host fish The glochidium then make themselves into a cyst, like a caterpillar forming a cocoon After riding on their host fish for several weeks they then change into a tiny mussel, fall off the fish, then land on the bottom of the body of water where they grow into adults Life Cycle and Larval Stages Most cultured mussels are produced in less than 2 years Hatchery production is based upon conditioning adult mussels by using algal food and temperature control The natural maturation cycle is mimicked at the hatchery Reproduction In Captivity Mature mussels are cleaned up and hung as a group in larval tanks Spawning is induced by thermal shock or by stripping Takes 24-hrs for the larvae to reach the straight hinge stage Larvae are fed and allowed to grow until they are ready to set onto ropes (13-15 days) Deployed in setting tanks, the mussels are transferred at a 1 mm size to a nursery, where they will remain until they reach 6-10 mm They are then moved outside into grow-out systems Methods Used Mussel Farming Suspension feeders Feed by actively filtering particles from the water Feed on both living and dead phytoplankton, decomposed macrophytes, or resuspended detritus Feeding Blue mussels have the ability to withstand wide fluctuations in salinity, dryness, temperature, and oxygen tension ( euryhaline & eurythermal) Do not thrive in salinities less than 15ppt Well acclimated for water temperature from degrees Celsius, with a high tolerance of about 29 degrees Celsius for adults Typically are found in intertidal habitats Environment Advantages Hard shell Euryhaline Eurythermal Disadvantages Small Cant swim Good source of unsaturated fatty acids for humans ENJOY!