Mediterranean Mussels

Mediterranean Mussel
Common Name Mediterranean Mussels
Market Name European mussel
Scientific name Mytilus galloprovincialis

Sourcing Summary

Size

2.5-3.5 in.

Mediterranean mussels are most common in Europe, but are now grown on the Pacific coast of 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
Meat (cooked)

Fresh Seasonal Availability

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
nononoyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesno

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 23.8g

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.

Origin Method Ratings
All Other Origins All Other Farming Methods  
Worldwide On-Bottom Dredge Harvest  
Worldwide Suspended Culture  
Name Country State / Province
Acuacultura Integral de Baja California SA Mexico Baja California
Albion Farms & Fisheries Canada British Columbia
Baja Shellfish Farms Mexico Baja California
Carlsbad Aquafarm, Inc. United States California
Catalina Sea Ranch United States California
City Fish Canada Alberta
Coast Seafoods Company United States Washington
Fanny Bay Oysters Canada British Columbia
Harbor Pride Seafood United States California
Island Sea Farms, Inc. Canada British Columbia
Marinelli Shellfish Co. United States Washington
Monterey Fish Market United States California
Organic Ocean Seafood Inc. Canada British Columbia
Out Landish Shellfish Guild Canada British Columbia
Pacific Harvest Seafoods United States California
Penn Cove Shellfish, LLC. United States Washington
Royal Hawaiian Seafood United States California
Sailor's Seafoods Canada British Columbia
Seacore Seafood Inc. Canada Ontario
Smokey Bay Seafood Company, Ltd. Canada British Columbia
Taylor Shellfish Farms, Inc United States Washington
Wixter Market United States Illinois