Mussel, mussels (Farmed)

Mytilus edulis

Method of production — Farmed
Production country — UK
Production method — Suspension culture
Picture of Mussel, mussels (Farmed)

Sustainability rating one info

Sustainability overview

Mussel farming requires no feed inputs therefore farming of mussels is a good way of producing seafood. Also there are no chemicals used in mussel farming. As only naturally occurring spat are used for on-growing therefore escapes is not an issue.

Feed Resources

Criterion Score: 6

Mussels are a non-fed shellfish species who get all of their nutrient requirements from the surrounding water.


Environmental Impacts

Criterion Score: 4

Environmental impacts of production are minimal and are limited to puesdofaeces deposition under ropes and disturbance of local bird prey species.


Fish Health and Welfare

Criterion Score: 2

Welfare standards are not applicable to cultured shellfish species.



Criterion Score: 1

Management measures and regulations are in place for the farming of mussels and are effective. There are no individual certification standards that apply to this species.


Production method

Suspension culture

In the UK mussels are grown by suspension rope culture. Mussels grown by suspension rope culture are generally harvested by hand-gathering methods.


Common mussels are bivalve molluscs found on shores throughout the North Atlantic, Mediterranean, North and Baltic Seas. They normally live in large aggregations, attaching themselves to rocks and each other with sticky threads known as byssus. Size and shape vary widely, but the colour is always deep bluish purple. Shell up to 10 cm but usually much smaller. Mussels mature when one year old and may live 10-15 years or more.


FAO 2004-2018. Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme. Mytilus edulis. Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme. Text by Goulletquer, P. In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [online]. Rome. Updated 1 January 2004. [Cited 7 September 2018].

FAO 2005-2018. National Aquaculture Legislation Overview. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. National Aquaculture Legislation Overview (NALO) Fact Sheets. Text by Spreij, M. In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [online]. Rome. Updated 23 February 2005. [Cited 7 September 2018].

Beveridge, M.C.M., 2001. Aquaculture and wildlife interactions. Environmental Impact Assessment of Mediterranean Aquaculture Farms. CIHEAM, Zaragoza, Spain, pp.85-90.