Green 'first' for west coast mussels –

Green ‘first’ for west coast mussels Published:  01 April, 2010

MUSSELS grown on the west coast of Scotland are the first in the UK to achieve the prestigious Friend of the Sea certification.

The Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group, a farmers’ co-operative of west coast and Shetland producers, earned the enviromnental accreditation after eight months of rigorous auditing.Stephen Cameron, managing director of Scottish Shellfish, said: ‘This is a first for the UK and achieving this certification is testimony to the hard work and dedication of our member farms in employing best practice procedures that ensures there is minimal environmental impact during the growth cycle of our quality rope grown mussels,’ he said.

‘Our mussel farmers are totally dependent upon nature and merely provide a helping hand in their production.’

Rather than dredging wild stocks, the groups’ farms collect the microscopic larvae on ropes.The mussels then grow naturally by feeding on plankton.

Paolo Bray, director of Friend of the Sea, said it had been one of the most complex audits the organisation had carried out.

He added: ‘We believe that the farming of rope-grown mussels is one of the most sustainable ways of producing an excellent source of protein.‘The presence of mussel farms can actually be beneficial to the environment.’