Look at these Mussels

Ropes with 1-year-old mussels

I have never had an interest in seafood, specifically aquaculture. I finally changed my opinion. We hiked down the road from Killary Sheep Farm to arrive at Killary Fjord Shellfish. Here the workers placed plates and plates of shellfish to salmon to mussels in front of us. After devouring the fresh seafood, we went on a boat where we learned about aquaculture. On the boat rocking back and forth. I took a step back and took in my view. Just rows and rows of ropes, each one stuffed with mussels. Many habitats in Ireland are on land. I love oceans. Learning about the shellfish habitat fit perfectly for me.

Killary Fjord Shellfish takes pride in their work. They harvest their food right there on site. I overlooked the Wild Atlantic Way, while devouring the food in front of me.  Simon, the owner who explained his work, told us they harvest a range of shellfish. This includes the food we previously snacked on, mussels, clams, razor clams, and oysters. One key point he kept saying to us was “we care for our ecosystem, we do not put it in harm.” He ensured that him and the workers are careful for the environment around them. They care for the environment which makes them be mindful of not throwing the ecosystem out of balance. He used this machine to pull one of many ropes out of the water. Here laid an abundance of mussels, ranging from one to two-year olds. They realise the larva into the ocean by the ropes. Mussels attach onto the ropes. After two years the workers harvest the mussels, leaving the young ones alone. The ropes do not interfere with the natural ecosystem. Other organisms actually attach to the mussels and grow along with them.

Stepping back onto the land I now understood why the boys next to me kept saying “I have never eaten so much seafood.” Both Simon and his wife, Kate, truly stand by their five steps: harvest, depuration, clean, deliver, enjoy.  Let me tell we sure did enjoyed.


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