Mussel farming starts with the capture of wild caught or culture of hatchery reared spat (baby mussels).
Mussels are filter-feeders, they plump up naturally on plankton, converting it into nutritious meaty flesh. Farmed mussels are environmentally benign, and some research suggests their cultivation may have an overall beneficial effect on the marine ecosystem.
Wild caught and hatchery reared spat settle on special spat ropes and allowed to grow before being mechanically stripped from the ropes, graded and reseeded to culture rope. The time it takes for mussels to reach market size from spat varies between regions, in Eden and Jervis Bay it is a little over one year.
Mussel farming is regarded as one of the worlds most sustainable forms of food production.