Make Mussels Your Seafood Choice This July

The Goods from Ocean Wise

Vancouver, BC | Each month the Ocean Wise Seafood Program picks one seasonal item and explains what makes it a smart choice for seafood-lovers. In this edition, we focus on what to seek out during the month of July…

Which seafood do you currently recommend?

Mussels (Mytilus edulis), farmed, off-bottom culture, BC.

What makes this particular item Ocean Wise?

– Mussels are an excellent sustainable seafood option because they reproduce quickly and in great numbers.

– Mussels filter plankton from the water, so the farming of this species does not require any additional feed or fish oil, further reducing its environmental impact.

– Mussel farmers must follow strict guidelines as well as environmental regulations in order to maintain a license to farm.

– Off-bottom culture accounts for 85% of mussel farms and causes minimal habitat effects.

– Mussels are a great affordable seafood option that can be found in most restaurants and retail locations across BC.

– Oysters and mussels have more iron than most cuts of beef (save the liver).

What are some lesser known facts about mussels?

– PEI farms about 80% of all of Canada’s mussels, making them our top aquaculture product, according to the DFO.

– Canada farms about $44 million worth of mussels annually (producing ~25-26K tonnes).

– We farm three main types of mussels in Canada: Eastern Blue mussel (Mytilus edulis), Western Blue mussel (Mytilus trossulus), and Gallo/Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis).

– Mussels have beards! The beard on a mussel is the clump of hair-like fibres which appear as though they sprout from the shell. The beard helps hold the mussel to hard substrates.

Where to find them:

Check out the Ocean Wise Seafood partner map for an Ocean Wise partner near you!

What is Sustainable Seafood?

Ocean Wise Seafood® recommends both farmed and wild seafood options that follow these criteria:

1. Harvesting that ensures healthy and resilient stocks and populations.
2. Effective and adaptive management.
3. Limited negative impacts on habitats and other species.


About the Ocean Wise Seafood Program | The Ocean Wise Seafood Program, founded in 2005, was created to make it easy for everyone to choose sustainable seafood. With over 750 partners in more than 3,000 locations across Canada, we can all do our part to protect the long-term health of our oceans, lakes and rivers. Thanks to our national team of scientists as well as a global network of experts, our recommendations are based on the most up-to-date science.

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