The green lipped mussel, also known as perna canaliculus is one of the largest and healthiest types of mussel available and can be easily harvested for economic use. This is the case in New Zealand where these mussels are an important part of the economy and of export relations. The farming process is called aquaculture which includes all types of water based farming strategies.
Some of the older strategies are more efficient and may have a shorter harvesting period but cannot be used to produce massive quantities of mussels at a given time which is vital for export. These strategies have been derived from the Chinese long line mass production fisheries and have greatly improved the ability to produce large numbers of this species for export purposes as they are indigenous to the New Zealand coastline.
A green lipped mussel is one of the largest in the mussel group and can grow up to 240mm in length. It is called the green lipped mussel or green shell because the shell is of a dark brown/green color as well as the fact that it has a green colored lip around the outside edge and is also sometimes referred to as Kuku or Kutai. These mussels are also said to have amazing abilities in the field of weight loss and joint pain relief and can sometimes be used as ingredients to such medicine.
Doctors have found that this particular mussel species deliver a unique combination of the healthiest fatty acids which are not available in any land cultivation or livestock. It also contains glycosaminoglycan which is a substance that is highly responsive to joint aches and is said to also carry the healing power to repair these joints and the soft bone tissue which is responsible for causing pain. This substance can only be found in green shell fish and therefore the mussel is a highly sought after commodity.
The aquaculture focused on the green lipped mussel is a very fast growing and lucrative industry. The average farm is about 30 to 50 hectares and can be placed deeper ashore than smaller farms this means that there is a larger area of rope available under water leading to increased amounts of mussels being produced. Altogether these farms have produced up to 140,000 tons of mussels per year and is growing at a surprising rate and by calculations, there is a current growth pattern of 30% per year.
The produce density per hectare for farming this kind of mussel is also a lot better than any kind of agriculture or growth strategy in any type of food source that we are currently familiar with. It is said this type of farming has a ratio of 9, 85 tons per hectare produced which is almost two hundred times that of land farming. The amount of proteins, vitamins and minerals produced by each mussel is more than can be delivered by any other food source of the same weight and feeding value.
The mass production of the green lipped mussel is under very close supervision by the U.S. food and drug administration, the European Union and the NZ food safety authority. As a result of this only the best quality mussels are produced in order to fulfill the standards set by the three organizations which are responsible for most of the aqua cultivation stipulations and regulations throughout the world.
To ensure that nothing goes wrong during breeding, the water around these aquatic farms are tested and regulated on a daily basis as well as regular tests being done on some of the product harvested These three organizations have also awarded the green shell mussel 1 of the top 2 seafood's in the world in regards to feeding and mineral values as well as the least disturbance to natural life.
Green lipped mussel is harvested from the muck which sticks to the seaweed surrounding the coastline. This mucous which contain baby mussels are referred to as spat The spat is however not removed but wrapped in a kind of stocking along with the muck and the seaweed. These stockings are then tied or mounted to a rope which is submerged and anchored to the bottom of the ocean, which is usually done with a concrete block being bolted to the ocean floor.
After a while the stocking rots off and the mussel is left with only the rope to support its growth. This industry has been experiencing a serious deficiency as almost 50% of the original harvest disperse from the rope and is washed away by the oceanic current which means that there is currently a huge gap in the research of aquaculture and the productivity thereof. Producing hatchlings in hatcheries is also an option that is being strongly reconsidered after having been discarded for invasive costs that affect the price of the mussel. There are however new ways of hatching being researched as we speak.
These new techniques are not really going to be new but a better version of the current hatchery which is more efficient and cheaper as well as replacing coastline harvesting which is still disturbing natures coarse
As a result of the green lipped mussel only being available in New Zealand, the prices of this commodity can almost be compared to the price of gold in some countries. If however the feeding value and mineral properties of this type of mussel are taken into consideration along with the period it takes to reach harvesting of between twelve to twenty four months, it is almost understandable that the prices are so outrageous.
Many doctors have started recommending this health supplement for a wide number of health issues, particularly arthritis and age related health issues because of the concentrated high quality of omega 3. Capturing, breeding and trading of these and any other kind of mussel without the necessary permits and registration to the above mentioned organizations can lead to a failure to meet the necessary standards and can cause serious consequences.
When wanting to buy green lipped mussel for health purposes, make sure you are dealing with a high quality green lipped mussel extract in order to be able to take full advantage of the numerous health benefits.