The aquaculture of mussels in Australia is focused on the production of a native species of blue mussel, Mytilus galloprovincialis. Concentrated in the south of country, there are about 25 mussel farms spread across SA, Tasmania, Victoria, Tasmania and the south coasts of both NSW and WA.
All mussels are grown on ropes, using various forms of longline cultivation. The ropes drop vertically into the water, supported by a horizontal rope backbone and a series of buoys. The structure is then held in place with purpose built anchors.
Historically, most Australian baby mussels (spat) are collected from the wild by hanging spat catching ropes in the water. More recently the industry has begun investigating the potential of commercial hatcheries to supplement the catch of wild spat and ensure continuity of supply.
Australia’s mussel farms are carefully located in off shore or remote locations that are selected marine farming zones and are suited to mussel growing. Farmers also recognise that looking after the environment is vital for healthy mussels and product safety and quality. Many seek to exceed environmental standards for their own operations and are also advocates for water quality.