The Tasmanian mussel industry is based around the blue mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis). There is currently only one organisation that farms mussels in Tasmania; Freycinet Marine Farm, which operates on the east coast.
In the 2017-2018 Financial year, 602 tonnes of mussels were harvested which had an estimated value of $2.4 million.. Tasmanian mussels are enjoyed within Tasmania, domestically across Australia, and internationally. The mussel farming process starts off with billions of mussel larvae in the hatchery.
After spawning, they're around 30 to 50 microns in size and are grown right through to metamorphosis in the hatchery, around 14 days. Then they go through a metamorphosis and they want to move from being a free swimmer to settling and attaching to a rope. The mussels are grown on the farm in the open ocean, hanging from horizontal rope lines six to fourteen metres below the surface.
A variety of positions exist within the Tasmanian mussel industry, from farm hands, hatchery technicians, processing attendants, to administration staff and more.
Of particular concern for the industry is harmful algal blooms (HABs), which can close the industry for a minimum of 21 days at a time if detected at concentrations deemed to be too high.
Careers in the Mussel industry
- Quality Assurance Manager
- Aquaculture Farm Manager
- Factory Manager
- Logistics/Dispatch Officer
- Aquaculture Deck Hand
- Shellfish Hatchery Manager
- Hatchery Technicians
- Factory – Mussel Processing Staff
- Accounts, Payroll and Administration