Taking 12 to 24 months to reach market size, mussels are farmed and harvested all year round, even in ice covered bays and estuaries during the winter.
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 employs more than 1,500 people. There are seven provincially-licensed and federally-registered processing plants where mussels are prepared for sale to local and international markets. Learn more.
Job titles in the mussel industry
- Collecting spat by suspending ropes in the water
- Mussel Strippers – The seed is manually stripped off the collectors into containers
- Mussel Sockers – Uniform sized mussel seed is placed in long mesh tubes called socks.
- Labourers tie mussel socks to long lines and put them back into the water
- Mussel harvesters cut mussel socks from the long line and place the socks into insulated containers
- Line Workers/Mussel Graders
- Boat Crew
- Quality Control Technicians
- Machine Operators
- Forklift Operators
- Maintenance Department staff
- Truck Drivers
- Administration, Supervisors, Managers
The Prince Edward Island Aquaculture Alliance (PEIAA) is a non-profit organization established in January 1998 as an umbrella organization representing the PEI Cultured Mussel Growers Association, the Island Oyster Growers Group, and the PEI Finfish Association.
For more information, visit www.aquaculturepei.ca.