MUSSEL FARMING

mussel farming page Bill.size adjustedJPGContinuous loop mussel farming is a technique borrowed from the South Seas, and adapted to our environment here in Rhode Island.  This method of growing mussels has proven very successful for optimizing space, producing a clean market product, and increasing production of a sustainable, domestic food.  Our mussel farms consist of an array of mainlines stretched 600ft though the water, with flotation added throughout the growing season.  mussel farming page socked.size adjustedA continuous line is planted with seed mussels, and dropped down into the water column depending on depth, and lashed onto the mainline at short intervals; a long line compares to a row of vegetables on a farm.  Our mussel farms are located in several different bodies of water around the state, which gives them a broader range of food types to graze on.  IMG_0747The life cycle of a blue gold mussel goes as such; seed rope is planted on our oyster farm around the first weeks of the New Year, this gives the larvae time to swim around for a while before finding the nice fuzzy rope and settling down, we start to see specks of the animals around April to May.  Throughout the summer months they grow like hot cakes and flotation must be added frequently to keep the lines off the ocean floors.  After the summer we will cull through the seed lines and replant the mussels at a lower density to increase growth rates.  At some point during the winter we will do another culling and re-planting, this brings us into our final phase of adding flotation until the mussels are ready to harvest over the course of the spring and summer.