Mussel production is one of the building blocks of our Island community heritage. Generations of hard working mussel growers and processors have farmed our coastal waters with pride, with many operating family-run businesses.
Mussel farmers must continually care for their crop, regularly inspecting and cleaning the socks. Taking 12 to 24 months to reach market size, mussels are farmed during every season, including the ice covered bays and estuaries during our Island winters.
Once harvested, mussels are transported to federally inspected processing plants where they are stripped from the sock, de-clumped, washed, and graded. The mussels are inspected and any broken or substandard shells are removed prior to being packed for shipping to markets all over North America.
Mussel production on PEI is a year round activity and employs more than 1,500 people annually
. Last year Prince Edward Island's aquaculture industry paid approximately $11 million in salaries, wages, and employer contributions.
- There are seven provincially-licensed and federally-registered processing plants where mussels are prepared for sale to local and international markets.
- PEI mussels are farmed using the longline system in 19 coastal areas.
- PEI's annual mussel exports total more than $45 million.