Exmouth Mussels awarded MSC certificate
The Exmouth Mussel Company has achieved MSC certification
The Exmouth Mussel Company has been granted Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.
Working within a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Area of Conservation and a National and Local Nature Reserve, Exmouth Mussels is acutely aware of its responsibilities to the Exe Estuary.
Specialist harvesting equipment has been designed to hover over the seabed, lifting the mussels with water jets and leaving the base layers untouched. Exmouth Mussels gather tiny ‘seed’ mussels from the sand banks at the entrance to the river (before they are washed away in autumn storms) and moves them to more protected areas within the estuary. Left to grow for two years they provide habitats and feeding opportunities for the 57 species that live on the mussel beds and food for the birds that take advantage of this rich food source.
Independent certifiers, MacAllister and Elliot & Partners (MEP), found that the fishery not only met the MSC standard for sustainable fisheries but also made a pro-active effort to support conservation and to maintain good relations with local conservation NGO’s.
The Exmouth Mussel Company produces over 200t of purified product for the national market each year with an increase this year to 1,000t, most of the extra being exported to Holland.
Exmouth Mussel Company owner Myles Blood Smyth says: “The Exe is a mussel farmer’s dream river. Protected from the winter storms and with very high levels of plankton we are able to grow the perfect mussel here. A hard black shell, fast growth and a high meat content means Exe mussels hold top spot in the market place bringing welcome income to this small inshore fishing community.”
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