The Mont Saint Michel Bay ‘bouchot’ mussels, pride of French cuisine, can now claim also the sustainability of their culture method. The certification followed an independent audit of compliance to Friend of the Sea strict requirements.
The culture method dates back to the XIII Century when Patrick Walton, an Irish traveller said to have been shipwrecked on the Mont Saint Michel Bay, accidentally discovered mussels’ propensity to aggregate on ropes and fatten remarkably . The culture method was named by a combination of two words in the Irish of the time: Bout=fence, Chot=Wood.
The traditional French ‘bouchot’ method of mussel culture is carried out on wooden poles that are placed upright into the sea bed in the low inter-tidal region. Mussel spat can be mechanically loaded into a long“stocking” of natural fibre that can then be wound around the bouchot. As the stocking fibre rots, the mussels attach by byssus to the bouchot.
In Mont Saint Michel bay tides have a wide 14 metres amplitude which allows water to remain clean and plancton rich at all times. Mussels area act as reserves as no fishing is allowed in the area. 30% of the mussels are returned to the spawning grounds and for birds. Trad’Ocean has provided evidence of the certified sustainable forests origin of the wooden poles used and it has engaged at assessing and gradually reduce its per unit energy consumption.
Trad’Océan mussels are sold with the Friend of the Sea ecolabel by the Swiss company Covedis and Swiss retail chain Manor. “This recognition is an additional confirmation of the natural origin and high quality of our mussels” comments Mr Le Bihan, director of Trad’Ocean “
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S.A.S. Trad’Océan is a Bouchot mussel farmers group from the French coast, more specifically from Mont Saint Michel Bay, Normandy and the Côtes d’Armor region of Brittany. The group also includes Oyster farmers as well as shellfish gatherers (Coquilles Saint-Jacques Scallops,Whelks, Clams, etc.), enabling then to offer a very wide range of products directly “from farmer to consumer”. www.tradocean.com
Mytilimer is a group of 14 Mussels and Oysters farmers located in the Mont-Saint-Michel bay who allied their know-how, passed on over many generations in order to offer 100% natural up-market products to its clientele. www.mytilimer.com
Manor AG is a Swiss Department Store chain with its headquarter in Basel. With an estimated market share of 59%, Manor is Switzerland’s biggest department-store chain. The Manor Group extends to the 71 Manor stores employing some 11,300 personnel, the Athleticum sports goods chain and Switzerland’s FLY furniture shops. The Group, which is owned by Geneva-based Maus Frères Holding, generated total sales of CHF 3.335 billion in 2009. Manor is positioned in the medium price segment. www.manor.ch
Covedis SA is a Swiss based importer of high quality seafood and food products and also owner of a main Sushi chain – Sushi Zen – in Switzerland. www.covedis.ch