A Tasmanian mussel farm excels in terms of sustainability performance
Spring Bay Seafoods, producer of Australian Blue Mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) has once again passed with a high score its Friend of the Sea renewal audit. Spring Bay Seafoods confirms its outstanding environmental performance.
The shellfish company operates on the East Coast of Tasmania and it is primarily known for producing blue mussels. Due to the fast flowing, cold and nutritious current, their deep-water oceanic marine farms provide a unique growing environment unrivalled anywhere, claims the company, and which is ideally suited to their unique style of shellfish farming.
The mussels are farmed in the open ocean using surface and sub-surface long lines for “rope” culture. The deep-water mussel growing lines are each around 400 metres long with 200 metres warp lines for anchorage at either end. Spring Bay Seafoods have one of the only commercial-scale mussel hatcheries in the world. The company uses innovative techniques for the continuous production of juvenile blue mussel spat (Mytilus galloprovincialis). The parent broodstock may be sourced from various areas within Tasmania to ensure genetic diversity. They are nurtured under strict quality and environmental conditions until ready for deployment and growing-out. The farming methods are characterized by their low density and the production of juvenile mussel spat from the hatchery. There are no chemical inputs used and the company works closely with the local community. By using the long line submerged system, Spring Bay Seafoods has overcome the problem of wave agitation dislodging mussels from the lines and causing them to fall to the sea floor.
The site has consistently good water quality, due to its deep water location, as indicated by the parameters tested and the farming practices are not altering this quality. From an ecological and environmental perspective, Spring Bay Seafoods continues to conduct a low impact farming operation which complies with all Friend of the Sea requirements. “Spring Bay Seafoods mussel production is surely an example to be followed by the whole aquaculture industry” adds Dr. Paolo Bray – Director of Friend of the Sea.
“We understand that Friend of the Sea is the most recognized aquaculture sustainability standard in the world and the fact we are one of just 3 aquaculture companies in Australia to achieve this certification is a very clear message for our customers, our suppliers and our neighbors about what we’re committed to, to preserve our precious environment” says Mr Lamb.
Friend of the Sea is an international non-profit certification scheme for products from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Certified products are fished from not overexploited nor IUCN Redlisted stocks and with selective methods which do not impact the seabed.