Greenshell™ Mussel (Perna canaliculus) Farm, Crail Bay, NZ

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (6)

bdeh on May 14, 2011

Looks like a cold morning Ian, great shot. Greetings Berend

Ian Stehbens on May 15, 2011

You are right, Berend for that is what it looks like, but it really was a very warm day, and the change that was coming was about to change all that, switching the wind from the NW to the SW. A cool night followed.

The mussels are seeded onto ropes which are suspended continuously from the guy ropes which are supported by the floats. The areas that are leased are carefully selected in the hope of avoiding any coliform bacteria which can flow into the bays via runoff water during heavy rain.

Enlarging the GE image will allow you to see the patterns of floats in the bays, and then bymoving the image one can discover the many hectares of mussel leases in Pelorus Sound.

Warm regards,


bdeh on May 15, 2011

I have seen a TV program once that explained this type of "farming"Mussels Ian. In Belgium they are trying to do the same method. Greetings Berend

Ian Stehbens on May 15, 2011

Dear Berend,

A marine biologist , Graeme Clarke, who lives in the vicinity of this photo on the shores of Crail Bay, is one of the key guys in getting this industry up and running. If you come into the bay you may well see him on the shore, around one of his inflatable run-abouts.

New Zealand Greenshell™ Mussel (Perna canaliculus) is the species that is farmed here. It is endemic to New Zealand. It is now a very significant income earner.

Chinook salmon are also farmed near this photo point and that has become another important aquatic harvest, here.

Because of the remoteness here, there is less chance of coliform bacteria contamination or heavy metal ingestion, but I would be less confident of this in the case of Belguim for there is no wilderness in your part of Europe. I will prefer to eat NZ mussels over the Belgian product, until it can be demonstarted that they have prevented pollution possibilities and contamination. That might be a challenge.

Even here, in periods of heavy rain, there can be problems.

But I wish the Belgians the best, and that they get great results. I wonder what species of mussel they are farming.

Warmest regards,


ƤōƝƓ on May 17, 2011

Very interesting and informative exchange between you and Berend, Ian.


Ian Stehbens on May 17, 2011

Hi Ah-Pong. I must admit to being one who simply enjoys this image for its moods and patterns. But the industry pictured is certainly most interesting, being a very new development of an age old marine food that indigenous people have harvested for centuries.

Marine aquacultures (maricultures) are growing quite rapidly in NZ - other species being Pacific oysters, Chinook salmon or king salmon, scallops and more recently some experimentation with sponges (for drug extraction).

It is great to be able to inform an expert on NZ by providing new information about the country you love already.


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Photo taken in 735 Elie Bay Road, Crail Bay 7282, New Zealand

Photo details

  • Uploaded on May 13, 2011
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens