Fruits of the Sea
Founded by Miles Blood-Smyth, the Exmouth Mussel Company pride themselves on providing sustainable, traceable shellfish with minimal impact on the globally-significant Exe Estuary.
As an ecologically rich environment and important habitat for migrating birds, the Exe Estuary enjoys particularly extensive safeguarding as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area, a Special Area of Conservation, a National & Local Nature Reserve and a RAMSAR site. In response to this, and in direct contrast with traditional scallop dredging, a destructive method now banned over 60 nautical miles of Lyme Bay, the Exmouth Mussel Company have engineered an ingenious approach involving zero contact with the seabed.
Converted from a French oyster vessel, the company‘s ‘elevator barge’ brings water jets into position above the mussel bed, before using high pressure spouts to push the bivalves onto a suspended elevator and leaving the underlying estuary floor intact. As Miles describes, “any crabs that come up are in perfect condition and any by catch can go straight back over the side, undamaged”. This sensitive approach means that the high densities of fish, crabs and sponges that build up on these “underwater rain forests” are left undamaged. The mussels are graded whilst still on the water, with undersized specimens returned to the beds where they may spend another six months gorging on the twice-daily influx of plankton. Suitably sized adults are then brought to shore and placed in holding tanks, where over a 42-hour purification session any pollutants or harmful bacteria are filtered out, leaving the mussels ready for the kitchen.
As a ‘bottom cultured’ product, Exmouth Mussels benefit from not only organic accreditation and a longer shelf-life, but also monthly testing for biological integrity.
If you’d like to try these award-winning shellfish for yourself, the Point Bar and Grill, situated just 20 yards away from where Exmouth Mussels land their catches, offers three delicious ways to enjoy this local delicacy, including creamy marinière, tomato, basil & garlic and smoked streaky bacon and cider.
For more details on Exmouth Mussels, visit www.exmouthmussels.comBack to news 12th November 2018