How Mussels are Harvested – Learning The Ropes

by Sarah Parker March 15, 2022

Do we actually know how mussels are harvested? This can be somewhat of an enigma. We do know they are healthy, meaty, easy to cook, and fun to eat, giving a true hands-on dining experience. Find out more about how your mussels came to be on your plate, and discover more delicious and enticing recipes. 

Our mussels 

Here at Seafood by Sykes, we are proud to say we have an incredible array of seafood from all over the world, and we’re pleased to say that we source a large portion of our mussels from our friends at Connemara Bay. Located on the beautiful West Coast of Ireland, you can take your pick of the best restaurant-quality mussels on the market from the crystal clear waters. And best of all, they’re delivered directly to your door, without driving up air miles.


Irish mussels close up


Here is how – Learning the ropes 

Our rope-grown, sustainably harvested mussels are cultivated on suspended ropes from buoys or rafts, which means they never touch the seabed. Have you ever bitten into a mussel and there are tiny bits of sand and grit? Well, this practice ensures every bite is as perfect as the last.


It’s interesting, as the young mussels attach themselves onto the ropes by something called a ‘Byssal Thread’ otherwise known as ‘beards.’ Their strong, silky fibers made from proteins lock them onto the rope. After one year the rope is bursting with juicy mussels, but it can take up to 24 months for them to be at their peak for harvest. They’re then collected, packed on ice, and frozen at their earliest to conceal their freshness. 


Our recipe – How you can enjoy mussels 

So who said you can’t have too much of a good thing? Celebrating the Irish heritage of our rope-grown mussels we had to pair this with something equally as special… Irish whiskey of course! For some inspiration, try your hand at our Irish Whiskey Mussels (trust us it works, the more whiskey the better!)  



Or if you enjoy their simplicity, mussels are particularly rich in vitamin B-12 (good for the nervous system and red blood cells) they can just be steamed alone without any additional ingredients for a perfect healthy starter, or part of a seafood feast. 


Tempted? Well, you’re in the right place, restaurant-quality mussels at your fingertips. Take a look at our Mussel selection and let us know what you think. Any questions? Ask away


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