It is in the rich southern waters of Australia where the vast majority of mussels are grown for local markets. It is focused on the production of a native species of blue mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis). Most of these farms are carefully located off shore or in remote areas that are suited to mussel growing. These locations are fully monitored with great care being taking to maintain the environment which is vital to growing healthy mussels. Many farmers seek to exceed environmental standards so they can maintain exceptional water quality.
The traditional method of collecting mussel seed (spat) would be to suspend spat catching ropes in the water but with the growing potential of commercial hatcheries this practice could slowly change and we can be assured that there will be a consistent supply. It takes around a year to grow good mussels and this is done on ropes that drop vertical in the water with horizontal ropes supporting. Above the water you will see the buoys that mark the spot and allow the farmers to find and lift the mussel laden ropes out of the water. There is often special anchors that holds the rope system in place.
These farms don’t have any significant impact on local marine life in fact they can attract a variety of species who share the same food as the mussels. They don’t use pesticides or carry out any mass culling off other marine. In short very little is done to change the environment they just provide the platform on which the mussels can grow, keeping things as natural as possible. We are lucky to have such a quality resource at our disposal so make the most of it Australia.