Farming and trade of Chilean mussel, Mytilus chilensis in Chile

Photo credit: Gabriel Rubio Orellana (Chile)          Description and information: Abdel Rahman El Gamal

Aquaculture development of Chilean mussel: The production of Chilean mussel, Mytilus chilensis from aquaculture has witnessed a significant increase over the past decade. According to FAO statistics, the quantity of Chilean mussel produced through aquaculture has risen from 34648 tons in 2001 to 221522 tons in 2010. The value of produced mussels followed –almost- the same trend rising from about US$ billion 1.72 to US$ billion 3.75 during the same period. The contribution of Chilean mussel production to total Chilean aquaculture increased from 6.1% in 2001, 11.5% in 2004, 19.7% in 2007 and 31.6% in 2010.

Farming systems: The traditional farming of mussel dates back to 1960s whereas the bottom culture (cultivated beds) or pole-suspended extensive systems have been the farming systems in practice. The farming technologies developed into more advanced systems with higher growth rate and greater yield of cultivated areas as reflected in the suspended systems (on ropes) and long lines. Farmed mussels are harvested throughout the year in Chile.

Export: The majority of farmed mussel is exported, mainly to the United States, Japan, and the European Union (primarily Spain and France).

Note: We decided not to watermark the photos in order not to upset its clarity. However, we trust you will notify us if you wish to use a picture or more. This is expected and will be appreciated. Chilean mussel

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