PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS
Mussel spat’s quite unusual from a biological point of view. When they first settle, there’s a swimming seed, which is looking for seaweed to settle on and it settles on the seaweed. If it doesn’t like it, it will actually put out a long thread of snot. Basically mucus which gets caught in the current and then it will let go of the seaweed and then it will use that thread like a parachute to drift off and find somewhere else that’s better for it to set up shop. So if you put mussel seed onto a farm and there isn’t enough food in the water or the mussel was already in poor condition before it got there they’ll quite often put out a parachute and they’ll sail off, sometimes that can take out 90, 95% of your seed mussels.
Professor Andrew Jeffs, Oliver Trottier – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.