Rights: University of Waikato. All Rights Reserved. Published 28 June 2013 Download



Mussel spat is a funny word used to describe baby mussels. So they’re tiny mussels that are usually the size of a match head or even smaller. They’re collected from two places. One is Ninety Mile Beach.

Ninety Mile Beach has a really unusual situation where there must be some very large adult populations of mussels there that produce lots of young, and those young settle on what must be large populations of seaweed in that area. And there must be storms that detach the seaweed from the seafloor, and the baby mussels together with the seaweed then wash up on the beach. So there’s spat harvesters who drive up and down the beach every day waiting for that material to wash ashore on the beach, and then they gather it up with pitchforks and put it in trailers and then they truck it off to be put out on mussel farms where it’s grown to mussels.


Professor Andrew Jeffs – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.


Coromandel Mussel Kitchen.

Sheree Wagener.

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