Heatwave halts Loch Fyne mussel harvest

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One of Scotland’s biggest seafood suppliers has suspended the harvest of mussels two weeks early due to warm weather.

Mussels are a seasonal product and harvesting normally ends in early to mid-June. Loch Fyne Oysters took the decision to halt production at the end of last week due to rising water temperatures, which encourage the mussels to spawn. Scottish mussels are best eaten outside the spawning season.

Other seafood suppliers have also had to halt mussel production early.

‘It is very important to us to farm mussels responsibly,’ said managing director Cameron Brown.

‘This sunshine has been lovely but the heat has made our mussels think it’s summer already and to start spawning. That means they need to be left alone to recover condition over the summer months. We also avoid summer harvesting because of the risk of toxic algae due to elevated phytoplankton levels in the loch.’

‘In the meantime we’ll be carrying out essential maintenance and collecting the ‘baby’ mussels – or spats. We look forward to supplying mussels once again in September, once the weather cools down.

‘We apologise to customers who were hoping to purchase fresh mussels, but it’s ideal weather to enjoy oysters instead – or perhaps purchase some fresh salmon fillets for the barbecue.’

PIC:

Cameron Brown – offered apology to customers. 06_a22CameronBrown01