Just down the road from Killary Sheep Farm is Killary Fjord Shellfish where Simon and his wife Kate harvest and sell shellfish to the local community. Thanks to the habitat in Killary Harbour, people like Simon and Kate can make a living off of their surroundings while providing for their community.
Shellfish aquaculture is good not only for people but the environment as well. For example, oysters clean the water, remove nitrogen and enhance water clarity. Simon and his wife harvest a range of diverse shellfish including: mussels, oysters, surf clams, razor clams and salmon. The aquaculture that they take part in is sustainable and has little to no negative environmental impact. Simon took us out on his boat where he showed us exactly where and how he cultivates mussels. The 5 step process is not too complicated: harvest, depuration, cleaning, delivering and enjoying! Simon could easily abuse this system and mass produce shellfish which would most certainly blow the whole habitat out of whack but instead he does the right thing and chooses to respect the habitat and not abuse it.
As we were out in the water another boat passed by and he referred to the young lad inside as his competitor. He gave the lad a big smile and they chuckled at each other, he sighed and said “a friendly competitor.” I grew very fond of Simon and Kate for this very reason. You could just tell with a few hours of being with them how passionate and humble they are about what they do. They made me realize the importance of earth’s habitats and how delicate they are. That being said, as humans, we are capable of taking care of these habitats and using them in a way that can benefit and support our way of life. Animals are a huge part of not only Ireland but the world and without the ideal habitats for them to thrive in they wouldn’t be here.