Wednesday, 24 July 2013 - 07:45
Mussle Season Starts Wednesday
The new mussel season opens Wednesday in Yerseke. The new harvest of Zeeuwse Mossels (mussels from Zeeland) comes two weeks later than expected because the mussel grew this year slower than usual. Early July the mussel farmers and traders did a test to see how the mussels developed. That showed that the mussels were substandard. The mussels were then required to grow to the desired quality. The reason for the slower growing of the mussels this year is the cold spring,. The cold spring caused less food for the mollusks. The cold spring also causes this year less than normal lobsters and the of the herring season was this year also delayed. According to initial reports, the mussels are small and expensive, but good quality. The price at the start of each mussel season is always high which has to do with the fact that there are few mussels at the start of the season. That again was induced by the shortage of seed mussels in the past two years. Last year 400 million kg were brought to the surface, but it is expected that this year that number will be 100 million kg less. Good weather, improving quality The quality of the Zeeuwsche Mossels is significantly enhanced, since the beginning of July, by the beautiful weather of recent weeks. “The color and the meat weight now meet the requirements of the market”, according to Secretary Jaap Holstein of the Mussel Trade Association. “And it is expected that the quality of the mussels in the near future will be even better.” Zeeuwsche Mosselen A fresh mussel is a bivalve animal that lives in the sea. It is one of the most common species on the coast. In the Netherlands, mussels grow in two areas: the Oosterschelde and the Waddenzee. Zeeuwsche Mosselen are fresh mussels, processed and packed at one of the companies in Yerseke. The name 'Zeeuwsche' says nothing about the geographical origin of the mussels. Many of the mussels are in fact imported from other countries. An alternative for growing mussels in the Oosterschelde and the Waddenzee, is wild catch in areas where the pressure on natural mussel populations is less. Many ‘Zeeuwsche Mosselen’ come actually from Denmark. Because the yield of wild catch lags far behind compared to that of controlled breeding, wild catching of mussels in the Netherlands has not been done for more than a century.