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Mussel hatchery project goes global

Mussel hatchery project goes global

9 Jun 2017

A project aiming to get mussels to spawn in a hatchery environment has received an international visit from Tasmanian partners Spring Bay Seafoods – operators of one of the few commercial-scale mussel hatcheries in the world.

The visit is part of a £1.7m project by the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group and University of the Highlands and Islands, with co-funding from the SFC-funded Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

Scotland produces over 7,700 tonnes of farmed mussels a year – 74% of which are produced in Shetland – generating an estimated £11.7m for the economy.

The team hosted Spring Bay Seafoods’ Hatchery Manager Bryce Daly for a three-week visit to the NAFC Marine Centre UHI in Shetland, helping them to hone the skills necessary to rear mussels in a hatchery environment.

The project aims to lead to a commercial-scale hatchery, resulting in higher and more reliable yields of spat (young mussels), as well as additional jobs and wider distribution of sites. The project will also help towards the Scottish shellfish sector’s growth ambitions of 21,000 tonnes annually by 2030.