Created 1.2 lakh ponds in West Bengal, says Mamata

WEST BENGAL HAS MANY PONDS IT CAN GROW MUSSELS  IN SEA AND CAN USE THESE PONDS FOR PEARL FARMING.  IT WILL HELP IN AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS WILL ALWAYS HAVE A SOURCE OF INCOME IF THERE IS LOSS IN AGRICULTURE THEY WILL BENIFIT FROM  CULTURED PEARLS.

 

Created 1.2 lakh ponds in West Bengal, says Mamata

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 – 21:21

Kolkata: Protecting environment and aiding livelihood, the West Bengal government has created more than 1.2 lakh ponds since coming to power, Chief Minister Mamata BanerjeeWednesday said.

In a Facebook post, Banerjee said when they came to power in May 2011, their target was to create 50,000 ponds in five years under the unique scheme ‘Jal Dharo Jal Bharo’ (Reserve and Preserve Water).

“But in less than four years upto end February 2015, one lakh twenty-one thousand ponds have been created in the state. It is not only environment and eco-friendly, but it provides livelihood through fisheries developed in these ponds and preserves water for use in dry season,” she said.

Moreover in 2014-15, irrigation potential in over 57,000 hectares of land under minor irrigation sector has been created, the chief minister said.

“Our target for 2015-16 is 62,000 hectares. This will give significant boost to agricultural productivity in the state,” she said.

http://biotechlearn.org.nz/focus_stories/farming_green_lipped_mussels/how_mussels_are_farmed_in_new_zealand

Transcript

Harvesting spat from 90 Mile Beach
Growing spat on ropes
Growing spat in hatcheries
Seeding spat
Reseeding juvenile mussels
Growing mussels on longlines
Monitoring for toxins
Harvesting
Processing
Unpredictable spat supply
Spat Resettlement
Predators
Pea Crab
Toxins
Fouling

Harvesting spat from 90 Mile Beach

Professor Andrew Jeffs (Leigh Marine Laboratory) explains that Ninety Mile Beach is the source of most juvenile mussels (spat) for New Zealand’s green-lipped mussel industry.

TRANSCRIPT

PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS

Mussel spat is a funny word used to describe baby mussels. So they’re tiny mussels that are usually the size of a match head or even smaller. They’re collected from two places. One is Ninety Mile Beach.

Ninety Mile Beach has a really unusual situation where there must be some very large adult populations of mussels there that produce lots of young, and those young settle on what must be large populations of seaweed in that area. And there must be storms that detach the seaweed from the seafloor, and the baby mussels together with the seaweed then wash up on the beach. So there’s spat harvesters who drive up and down the beach every day waiting for that material to wash ashore on the beach, and then they gather it up with pitchforks and put it in trailers and then they truck it off to be put out on mussel farms where it’s grown to mussels.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Professor Andrew Jeffs – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.
NASA.
Coromandel Mussel Kitchen.
Sheree Wagener.

Certain photos in this video are the copyrighted property of 123RF Limited, their contributors or licensed partners and are being used with permission under licence. These images and/or photos may not be copied or downloaded without permission from 123RF Limited.

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Growing spat on ropes

Professor Andrew Jeffs (Leigh Marine Laboratory) explains what Christmas tree rope is and how it is used to collect mussel spat.

TRANSCRIPT

VOICEOVER

One alternative to harvesting spat from 90 Mile Beach is to dangle hairy rope – called Christmas tree rope – in the water near mussel farms.

PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS

They’re called Christmas tree ropes because they look a bit like Christmas tree tinsel. They have a central thread with lots of hairy fibres hanging off them, and the mussel seed which is floating in the water finds it and thinks it’s a piece of hairy seaweed and settles in it and attaches to it and sets up home there. That Christmas tree rope is then harvested and hung out on a mussel farm, and the mussels then grow up from there.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Professor Andrew Jeffs, Oliver Trottier – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.
Just the Job, Dave Mason Productions. www.justthejob.co.nzExternal Link

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Growing spat in hatcheries

Professor Andrew Jeffs (Leigh Marine Laboratory) explains that some mussel spat is sourced from hatcheries.

TRANSCRIPT

PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS

The other source of mussel spat is in a hatchery, so a hatchery is a human-made system where mussels are bred, a mum and dad mussel produce egg and sperm and then the larvae, which are a little swimming seed, is raised and fed on floating plants again, until it gets to the point where its ready to settle on a piece of seaweed, and then they use Christmas tree rope in the tanks. And the baby mussels settle on that rope and then the rope’s moved out and hung out on a farm.

That’s quite an expensive process to do compared to just going and picking seaweed up off the beach which is covered in millions and millions of mussel spat.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
SpatNZ.
Mass Audubon Joppa Flats Education Center, Massachusetts – www.massaudubon.org/joppaflatsExternal Link.
Professor Andrew Jeffs – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.

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Seeding spat

Professor Andrew Jeffs (Leigh Marine Laboratory) describes how spat are attached to mussock – a biodegradable cotton stocking – for growth on mussel farms.

TRANSCRIPT

PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS

Once the spat is collected off the beach, it’s normally chilled and put in bags and then put in a chilled truck like an ice-cream truck and taken to the farm usually within 24 hours. It’s put on a mussel barge which goes out onto the farm, and the seaweed, which is covered in spat, is forced down a tube with a rope going down it and into some cotton stocking, which is called mussock.

And that stocking holds the seaweed with the mussel spat on it against the rope and then that’s hung on floats on the surface and the mussel attaches to the rope, and the stocking’s made of cotton so it rots in the sea over a couple of weeks. And so you’re left with a rope that’s completely coated with baby mussels.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Professor Andrew Jeffs – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.
Sheree Wagener.
Just the Job, Dave Mason Productions. www.justthejob.co.nzExternal Link

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Reseeding juvenile mussels

Professor Andrew Jeffs (Leigh Marine Laboratory) explains why juvenile mussels must be reseeded onto new rope after approximately 6 months’ growth.

TRANSCRIPT

PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS

The spat spends about 6–8 months on the nursery line, and by that time, there’s just so many mussels on that line and they’re getting bigger and bigger and growing very, very quickly at that age.

And the more they grow, they start pushing each other off the line and they start dropping off the line. So the mussel farmer will take those lines out of the water and drag them through a steel ring which pulls the mussels off the rope and then will seed those mussels back onto another rope but at lower numbers, so to space them out a bit more, so the mussels are reseeded to give them enough space to grow up to a bigger size.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Professor Andrew Jeffs, Oliver Trottier – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.
Just the Job, Dave Mason Productions. www.justthejob.co.nzExternal Link

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Growing mussels on longlines

Professor Andrew Jeffs (Leigh Marine Laboratory) describes the Japanese longline system, which is used to farm virtually all of New Zealand’s green-lipped mussels.

TRANSCRIPT

PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS

The Japanese longline system for farming mussels involves a series of large plastic floats on the surface, with two lines running between them joining them up, in a line along the surface of the water, with an anchor on either end.

The mussel lines then are suspended from the ropes that run along the surface between the floats and so they hang down in the water column, so it gives a huge length of rope going up and down covered in mussels growing underneath the farm. One of the issues for a mussel farmer is making sure that they have enough floats, so as the mussels grow, the farmers often have to add more floats to keep the weight of mussels held up in the water column.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Professor Andrew Jeffs, Oliver Trottier – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.
Just the Job, Dave Mason Productions. www.justthejob.co.nzExternal Link

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Monitoring for toxins

Professor Andrew Jeffs (Leigh Marine Laboratory) describes how mussels and the water they grow in are rigorously tested before harvest for toxins and algal bloom, respectively.

TRANSCRIPT

PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS

To ensure that mussels don’t contain toxins there’s an incredibly strict monitoring programme in place that took a number of years to develop. There’s a number of aspects to it. One is those tiny floating plants in the water that produce toxins. We know what they are, so you can sample the water and have a look for those to see whether they’re present.

There’s also a rigorous testing programme with the mussels themselves. Before they can be sent off to market, they have to be tested to make sure they don’t contain any of the toxins,

So it’s a two-part process – one gives you an early warning sign, the other one guarantees human food safety that mussels that are going to cause human health issues aren’t being sent to market, and that’s absolutely critical in terms of having an industry that people can trust.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Paul McNabb, Cawthron Institute.
NASA.
Professor Andrew Jeffs – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.

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Harvesting

Professor Andrew Jeffs (Leigh Marine Laboratory) explains how green-lipped mussels are harvested.

TRANSCRIPT

PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS

Mussels are harvested from a farm by pulling a barge up alongside the farm. The ropes are cut off from the lines holding them in the water, and they’re pulled through a steel ring, and the mussels let go.

They’re tumbled and washed at the same time to get some of that fouling material out, to get some of the accumulated silt that often accumulates on the mussels. And then they’re put on a conveyor belt and then dropped into a bag, and that bag is then ready to be handled by a crane off onto the wharf once the barge gets back to the wharf.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Professor Andrew Jeffs – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.

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Processing

Professor Andrew Jeffs (Leigh Marine Laboratory) describes the key steps in post-harvest processing of green-lipped mussels.

TRANSCRIPT

PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS

Most processing factories for mussels in New Zealand, the mussels are brought in, they’re inspected to make sure they’re clean. Any broken mussels get removed, and only the clean good-quality mussels are then sent through to processing.

Normally, they’re lightly cooked usually with a steaming, and that’s just enough open up the mussels so that one of the shells can be removed. They are then put through what’s called a de-bearder. Mussels extrude threads which they use to cling onto ropes or onto the rocks in the wild, and the de-bearder just basically removes those threads because they’re not very nice to eat, in fact, you can’t eat them. The mussels are then sent through a freezing plant where they are snap frozen quickly to preserve the goodness and to make sure they’re good quality.

So typically in a mussel plant, there’s testing along the way to make sure that the quality standards are maintained.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Professor Andrew Jeffs, Oliver Trottier – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.
NIWA.
Just the Job, Dave Mason Productions. www.justthejob.co.nzExternal Link

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Unpredictable spat supply

Professor Andrew Jeffs (Leigh Marine Laboratory) describes the unpredictable nature of the spat supply from Ninety Mile Beach.

TRANSCRIPT

PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS

The spat fall on Ninety Mile Beach is quite unpredictable. There’s a general pattern – it generally turns up between August and the end of December and sometimes a secondary supply in January, February, March, but it varies from year to year, and the volume varies enormously.

Also the quality varies enormously as well. Sometimes the seed mussels that come in are well fed, and once they’re put on the farm, they grow very quickly. Other times, they’re in poor condition, and a large proportion of them die or they get eaten or they swim off before they have a chance to grow up.

The spat fall is absolutely critical to the industry. We’ve got an over $200 million industry that relies on that wild seed supply, and so having a continual supply of spat there arriving is absolutely critical. So there have been periods of almost a year where there’s been no spat available at all and it’s caused a major problem for the mussel industry. And in those times, the industry has shown a huge interest in developing hatchery systems and getting them up and running and trying to produce spat through those alternative methods.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Sheree Wagener.
Professor Andrew Jeffs, Oliver Trottier – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.
Just the Job, Dave Mason Productions. www.justthejob.co.nzExternal Link

Certain photos in this video are the copyrighted property of 123RF Limited, their contributors or licensed partners and are being used with permission under licence. These images and/or photos may not be copied or downloaded without permission from 123RF Limited.

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Spat Resettlement

Professor Andrew Jeffs (Leigh Marine Laboratory) explains that spat are prone to moving from their original site of settlement and why this can cause problems for mussel farmers.

TRANSCRIPT

PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS

Mussel spat’s quite unusual from a biological point of view. When they first settle, there’s a swimming seed, which is looking for seaweed to settle on and it settles on the seaweed. If it doesn’t like it, it will actually put out a long thread of snot. Basically mucus which gets caught in the current and then it will let go of the seaweed and then it will use that thread like a parachute to drift off and find somewhere else that’s better for it to set up shop. So if you put mussel seed onto a farm and there isn’t enough food in the water or the mussel was already in poor condition before it got there they’ll quite often put out a parachute and they’ll sail off, sometimes that can take out 90, 95% of your seed mussels.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Professor Andrew Jeffs, Oliver Trottier – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.

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Predators

Professor Andrew Jeffs (Leigh Marine Laboratory) describes the major predators of New Zealand’s farmed green-lipped mussels.

TRANSCRIPT

PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS

Mussels are out hanging in the water column, and they’re vulnerable to things coming and eating them.

Probably one of the worst predators for early mussels is fish, especially snapper and spotties – they come and bite, bite and eat the mussels, the baby mussels off the farm. Sometimes you get starfish setting up home on mussel farms, and they’ve got strong arms, and they can pull the mussel shells open and eat the mussels.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Professor Andrew Jeffs, Oliver Trottier – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.
The Shape of Life. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/External Link

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Pea Crab

The New Zealand pea crab is a parasite of green-lipped mussels. Professor Andrew Jeffs (Leigh Marine Laboratory) describes how the pea crab causes problems for mussel farmers.

TRANSCRIPT

PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS

So it sets up home inside the mussel and starts stealing that food that the mussel’s been gathering so diligently. The pea crab steps in there and grabs the meal before the mussel gets a chance to eat it. So that reduces the productivity of the mussel, and it also causes problems in terms of quality, because the last thing a consumer on the other side of the world who’s paid a lot of money to buy a high-quality farmed mussel from New Zealand wants to do is to bite into a crunchy crab in the middle of their meal.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Professor Andrew Jeffs and Oliver Trottier – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.

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Toxins

Professor Andrew Jeffs (Leigh Marine Laboratory) explains why mussels are susceptible to accumulating toxins.

TRANSCRIPT

PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS

There’s a number of types of phytoplankton, those are the tiny floating plants, which produce poisons or toxins. They probably produce them as a way of protecting themselves from fish and what have you from eating them. And so the mussels, because they filter such large numbers of those plants, they accumulate the poisons inside their bodies, and so that accumulated poison then becomes an issue for someone then going and eating a mussel, because there’s a larger volume of poison there which can start to cause problems.

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Fouling

Professor Andrew Jeffs (Leigh Marine Laboratory) explains how unwanted organisms can foul mussel lines.

TRANSCRIPT

PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS

The presence of what we call fouling organisms, things like seaweeds and barnacles and sea squirts, on the mussels when they’re harvested causes quite a bit of a problem, because when they come in, you get a lot of other material mixed in with the mussels. Things like sea squirts in particular start rotting quite quickly and so that has the potential to cause spoilage.

Also the industry has been incredibly innovative and developed systems for opening mussels. And if you have a lot of barnacles on the outside of shells then it causes problems for some of those highly advanced systems for processing mussels.

There’s a machine which uses guided suction cups which sucker onto the outside of the shells and open the mussels. Well, if you’ve got barnacles on there, the suction cups can’t suck because there’s barnacles stuck underneath them.

The other issue with barnacles is our mussels have a beautiful green shell, and if they’re covered in barnacles, they don’t look as inviting as they do when they’re just that beautiful polished green jade colour.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Professor Andrew Jeffs Oliver Trottier – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.
Penny White.
Happy Aston.
NIWA.

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From Sock to Pot: How to Grow Mussels

General Post


Photo: Canadian Cove

Why do mussels get fatter in winter months? How come some mussels are light orange and some dark? Can mussels move or do they stay put after settling on a piling? We learned the answers to these questions and more, when Michael Mussig and Michael Ferguson from Canadian Cove stopped by the office. Canadian Cove is the premier Prince Edward Island mussel grower, and the Mikes dropped in to chat about mussels, the farming process, and to cook up some samples for us to try.

As it turns out, you can start your own adventure in mussel farming with nothing more than a frayed rope. In late spring, mussels naturally begin spawning as water temperatures rise. To catch the mussel larvae, farmers put long collector lines in the water. This can be as simple as an old rope held afloat by buoys. The mussels float in the water until they settle down on the rope’s surface.

By fall, the mussels have grown to about half the length of your thumb, and are ready to be collected for socking. No, this has nothing to do with punching the mussels! It actually refers to the long mesh tubes that the mussels will placed inside, somewhat akin to a sock. The mussels are roughly sorted into similar sizes before being placed in the socks. This helps maintain uniform shell sizes because the smaller mussels aren’t competing against their larger brothers. Then the mussels are stuffed into the sock, the same way you would fill a sausage casing. Though the mussels are on the inside of the sock now, over the next few months, they will gradually move to the outside of the sock in their continuing quest for food and nutrients. That’s right, mussels can move through their “beards” or byssal threads, which are sticky filaments secreted to help the mussel cling to objects. By attaching a thread to an anchor, then shortening the thread, a mussel can slowly move toward an object.

As the mussels move outwards, the sock will collapse into a thin rope in the center of the mussel column. Canadian Cove spaces their mussel lines out further than usual so that the mussels grow quickly and uniformly. Since the mussels are cultivated on ropes rather than on the ocean bottom, they have clean, unmuddied flavors and a firm texture that is free of grit. The waters surrounding Prince Edward Island are some of the cleanest in the world, and you can certainly taste it in these robust mussel meats.


Photo: Canadian Cove

After about two years in the water, the mussels are harvested. Around this time of the year, mussels are at their peak, becoming sweeter and plumper as they prepare for winter. But what happens if there’s ice on the water? Knowing that some oyster farmers close up shop when the water freezes over, we asked how Canadian Cove kept up with the year-round demand for mussels. It turns out that they have a number of open water leases that are deep enough that they don’t freeze in winter, and in some areas they have divers who can ice harvest.

Once the mussels have been harvested, they are gently washed, graded and debearded. You may have heard that debearding shortens the shelf life of mussels. This is generally true if you yank the mussel’s beard out, but modern processing equipment pinches off the beards rather than pulling them out forcefully, so the mussel remains healthy and untraumatized. The mussels are stored for a short period in saltwater storage tanks with air bubbled through them, which gives them a chance to recuperate from being harvested. Then these ambassadors for PEI are packed into bags and eventually make their way to a steaming pot near you.

When you purchase mussels, the shells should look moist and they should not smell strongly fishy or unpleasant. After you bring them home, they should be stored in the coldest part of your refrigerator, covered by a damp towel. Canadian Cove’s mussels are pot ready, so all you need to do prior to cooking is to give them a quick rinse. If there are any open mussels, give them a tap on the shell and throw out any mussels that do not close.

If you’ve ever inspected a pot of mussels before, you may have noticed that some are a creamy shade of light orange, while others are a more vibrant dark orange. The color difference is how you can tell female from male mussels: the females are more colorful, “like women with make-up,” quipped Mussig.

We enjoyed the mussels steamed with a splash of white wine, a knob of butter, some Thai sweet chili sauce, and a sprinkle of cilantro and red onion. However, they would have been delicious with many other accoutrements, or even just steamed alone without any additional ingredients. For inspiration, you can check out our recipe forcreamy mussels with blue cheese, or simply look around your kitchen tonight and see what catches your eye.

 

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