After learning more about the trophic layers of the food chain and farmed aquaculture it is clear that farmed Mussels need to be on more menus. They appear easy to manage for the farmer of the sea as they survive on phytoplankton and algae.
Dangling ropes from a frame at the surface of the ocean allows clusters of mussel shellfish to grow on the rope. The rope can be easily raised from the ocean by the farmer to check on growth or harvest the full-sized mussels. The small shellfish species help protect the ocean by cleaning up the excess nutrients from agricultural runoff which can otherwise lead to algal blooms. Algal blooms that have insufficient shrimp, mussels, or other species in the area to consume the extra growth, may add toxins to the water depending on the species of alga, and when the excess nutrients from fertilizer runoff are used up the algal bloom dies in large quantities, and bacteria decompose the algal remains using up oxygen in the water until that also runs out, leading to oxygen dead zones.
For more information see: Best catch guide: Mussels.
More information and reference links about low oxygen areas of the oceans is available in a series on another site: 1. Oceans Need Oxygen, 2: Oxygenating the ocean's dead zone, 3: Non-traditional windmills can increase efficiency, 4: Upwelling tubes, hurricanes, and mussels. 5. Baking Soda to the rescue! - Yes really. 6. Supplementing the Ocean.
Mussel Gumbo Adaptation of this recipe: Mussel Gumbo/Alyson Gofton
2 large onions, diced
2 Tablespoons Coconut or Olive Oil
4 stalks celery, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 cups okra sliced
½ tsp each ground white and black pepper
pinch of ground cayenne
2x 400 gram/14 oz cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 litre/quart water or fish or chicken stock
2 Bay Leaves
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon Gumbo File
500 grams- 1 kilogram/1-2 pounds cooked mussel meat
¼ cup chopped fresh basil and thyme or 1 tablespoon each dried
In a large sauce pan, saute the diced onion, celery and okra in the coconut or olive oil until limp, onions caramelized slightly, about 8-10 minutes.
Add the water or stock, tomatoes, Bay Leaves, and other spices and dried herbs if fresh are not available, bring to a simmer and heat for 15 minutes.
Add the roughly chopped mussel meat, the fresh herbs, and the Gumbo File powder and bring to a simmer, serve once the mussels are hot.
How to cook mussels - they are steamed for 5-7 minutes in a covered pan with some water and possibly garlic or other seasonings, see: How to Cook Mussels, (peimussel).
If fresh mussels are not available, buy mussels in brine, drain well, presoak in fresh water for 15 minutes and drain again before chopping.
Image of cooked mussels is on another site with the recipe: Mussels, delicious and sustainable.
/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./