Blue Mussels

Blue Mussel
Common Name Blue Mussels
Scientific name Mytilus edulis

Sourcing Summary

Size

2-3 in.

Blue mussels are the most widely consumed mussel in North America. Mussels are sold live and frozen as whole cooked, meats, and cooked on the half shell. Buyers should adopt a seasonal strategy because meat content decreases dramatically after mussels spawn: blue mussels are at their peak in winter and early spring while Mediterranean mussels are better in the spring, summer, and fall. Generally, rope-grown mussels have thin, clean shells and high meat content.  Some producers hold mussels in tanks of water that are treated with ultraviolet light which destroys harmful bacteria, a process known as "depuration."

Product Forms

Fresh/Frozen
Fresh
Product Forms
Live
Fresh/Frozen
Frozen
Product Forms
Cooked
Meat

Fresh Seasonal Availability

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes

Culinary Composition

Mild

Flavor

Firm

Texture

Cooking Methods

Advisory Concern

Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning

Health/Nutrition

Nutrition facts

Serving Size: 100g
Amount per serving
Calories 172
Total Fat 4.48g
Cholesterol 56mg
Sodium 369mg
Carbohydrates 7.4g
Protein 23.8
Omega-3 1g

Science & Management

Conservation Criteria - Wild

Conservation Criteria - Farmed

Data

Strict water quality, environmental, and safety regulations apply to mussel farming in the areas where it’s practiced. The mussel farming industry also follows a number of best management practices that go beyond those regulations, including predator control, noise and odor impacts, and seed collection, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Overall, mussel-farming management is highly effective.

Habitat Impacts

Mussels are often raised on ropes submersed in coastal areas, a system considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly forms of aquaculture. They are also bottom cultured and harvested by dredging, which can degrade sediment and cause a decline in biodiversity. However, dredging cultured beds causes less damage than dredging natural ones. Although they are filterfeeders that improve water quality, mussels will only thrive in a healthy environment. Harmful algal toxins in the water have caused some mussel farming areas to be closed temporarily.

Mussel farms tend to be protected from duck predators with fine mesh that is heavily weighted to avoid problems there with entanglements.

Feed

Mussels are filterfeeders that take in plankton so no extra feed is needed to grow them.

Disease, Pathogen and Parasite Interaction

Disease incidence among mussels is low.

Escapes and Introduced Species

Mussels are generally farmed in areas where they are native and interbreeding between wild and escaped mussels doesn’t threaten the wild populations. Mediterranean mussels farmed in the U.S. are considered a naturalized species. 

Name Country State / Province
Albion Farms & Fisheries Canada British Columbia
American Mussel Harvesters United States Rhode Island
AquaPrime Mussel Ranch Canada Nova Scotia
Atlantic Aqua Farms Partnership Canada Prince Edward Island
Bristol Seafood United States Maine
Catalina Offshore Products United States California
Catanese Classic Seafood United States Ohio
Chatham Seafood Enterprises United States Massachusetts
City Fish Canada Alberta
Clipper Ship, Inc. United States Washington
Codfathers Seafood Market Canada British Columbia
Conchyliculture Gloucester Shellfish Co. Inc. Canada New Brunswick
Confederation Cove Mussel Company Canada Prince Edward Island
DOM International Limited Canada Ontario
Euclid Fish Company United States Ohio
Export Packers Company Limited Canada Ontario
Global Seafoods Ltd. Canada Nova Scotia
Hudson Valley Seafood United States New York
Imperial Seafood and Shellfish Inc. United States Ohio
Indian Point Marine Farms Ltd. Canada Nova Scotia
Island Creek Oysters United States Massachusetts
Island Sea Farms, Inc. Canada British Columbia
JP's Shellfish, Inc. United States Maine
Lotus Seafood Inc. United States California
Lusamerica Foods, Inc. United States California
Marinelli Shellfish Co. United States Washington
Mariner Neptune Canada Manitoba
McRoberts Sales Co., Inc. United States Florida
Northeast Oceans United States Massachusetts
Northwest Fresh Seafood Company United States Oregon
Ocean Beauty Seafoods LLC United States Washington
Out Landish Shellfish Guild Canada British Columbia
Pacific Harvest Seafoods United States California
Pemaquid Mussel Farm United States Maine
Penn Cove Shellfish, LLC. United States Washington
Prince Edward Aqua Farms Canada Prince Edward Island
Red's Best United States Massachusetts
Robbie's Ocean Fresh Seafood Inc. United States California
Royal Hawaiian Seafood United States California
Sailor's Seafoods Canada British Columbia
Sarasota Seafood Company United States Florida
Sea Forager Seafood United States California
Sea to Table, USA United States New York
Seacore Seafood Inc. Canada Ontario
Seattle Fish Company United States Colorado
Smokey Bay Seafood Company, Ltd. Canada British Columbia
Sogelco International, Inc. Canada Quebec
Stavis Seafoods United States Massachusetts
The Fish Guys Inc. United States Minnesota
The Fishin' Company United States Pennsylvania
The Lobster Man Canada British Columbia
Thimble Island Oyster Company United States Connecticut
Whitecap International Seafood Exporters Canada Newfoundland and Labrador
Wixter Market United States Illinois