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Building Good Mussels

3 minutes

(Describer) Under a round logo of a wave, title: Ocean Today.

(Describer) Title: Building Good Mussels, spelled m-u-s-s-e-l-s.

(female narrator) Farmers grow seafood, such as fish, shrimp, and oysters. That may sound funny, but it is a method called aquaculture. Aquaculture happens in ponds, rivers, bays, and the ocean. Farmers also grow a type of shellfish called mussels.

(Describer) A diver swims by some.

You may have seen mussels growing from a pier, jetty, or dock. Their black shell is hard, and wild ones grow in clusters. Mussels are easy to farm, great to eat, and help clean the water. Mussels are filter feeders-- they feed by collecting tiny organisms from the water, so they clean and filter the water as they eat. Fishermen from Rhode Island to Maine are beginning to farm mussels in socks in the ocean. First, they collect baby mussel seed on ropes near the shore. The seed goes into a sock around a long rope.

(Describer) The sock has many holes in it.

On the water, the sock with the rope is connected to buoys, dropped into the water, and left to grow in the ocean for a year.

(Describer) A man pulls one up.

After one year, juicy mussels are bursting through the socks. They are collected, packed on ice, and brought back to shore to sell.

(Describer) A crate loaded onto a dock.

A small farm with 12 long lines can produce up to 180,000 pounds of mussels each year.

(Describer) Men load it on a truck.

Farming mussels on rafts and on the bottom is hard work, muddy, and messy, but it can be fun too. Right now, in the United States, mussel farming is catching on among fishermen and farmers. It's helping provide the seafood we need in a healthy and sustainable manner.

(Describer) Titles: Ocean Today has been brought to you by the Smithsonian Institution in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accessibility provided by the US Department of Education.

Accessibility provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

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Fishermen from Rhode Island to Maine are beginning to farm mussels in socks in the ocean. First, they collect baby mussel seed on ropes near the shore. The seed goes into a sock around a long rope. On the water, the sock with the rope is connected to buoys, dropped into the water, and left to grow in the ocean for at least a year. After one year, juicy mussels are bursting through the socks.

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