One alternative to harvesting spat from 90 Mile Beach is to dangle hairy rope – called Christmas tree rope – in the water near mussel farms.
PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS
They’re called Christmas tree ropes because they look a bit like Christmas tree tinsel. They have a central thread with lots of hairy fibres hanging off them, and the mussel seed which is floating in the water finds it and thinks it’s a piece of hairy seaweed and settles in it and attaches to it and sets up home there. That Christmas tree rope is then harvested and hung out on a mussel farm, and the mussels then grow up from there.
Professor Andrew Jeffs, Oliver Trottier – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.
Just the Job, Dave Mason Productions. www.justthejob.co.nz