Saltspring Island Mussels
In the waters off Saltspring Island in British Columbia, a perfect environment for raising mussels meets farming ingenuity. The result is a unique product combining the best of the Mediterranean and Blue varieties for year-round harvests of plump, sweet, meat-filled mussels.
Saltspring Island Mussels is the only producer in the world with facilities and expertise dedicated so deeply to breeding the perfect mussel. Since 1998, they have operated their own hatchery, which is one of a handful of mussel hatcheries in the world.
Saltspring grows pure lines of Mediterranean mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and Blue mussels (Mytilus edulis). The best specimens from those pure lines are then bred together to hybridize both into a new variety. This new variety has the best attributes of the pure lines, while exhibiting a different spawning season. This breakthrough allows year-round harvests of plump, sweet, meat-filled mussels. Saltspring Island mussels are recognized as the foremost mussel available on the US market, and are the #1 imported mussel in Japan.
At the southern end of Vancouver island, fed by the waters of the Salish Sea, lies Saltspring Island. The cold waters are rich with phytoplankton and microalgae feasting on nutrients from the frigid deep waters of the Pacific ocean, making them perfect for producing excellent shellfish.
While the region has always been famous for its oysters, Saltspring Island was the first mussel farm. In 1996, while diving near the island, the founders discovered Mediterranean mussels growing wild. Blue mussels had already been established in the region for some time. They recognized the possibilities — not only could they grow both of these species in BC, they could create something even better.
In the Kitchen
The unique Saltspring hybrid is larger than most large Blue (“PEI”) mussels, and the largest exceed even the size of Mediterranean mussels. Meats fill the shell almost entirely for more fill than even Mediterraneans. Saltspring Island Mussels brings together the superior taste of the Mediterranean mussel, with the delicate texture of the Blue mussel.
Certifications and Awards
Oceanwise Recommended, Canadian organic certification in assessment