Aquaculture news

New Zealand Greenshellâ„¢ mussels
11 April 2017

Celebrating research: Hatchery-reared mussels ready for harvest

Cawthron Institute congratulates Sanford Ltd on the upcoming harvest of their hatchery-reared New Zealand Greenshell™ mussels, with Chief Executive Prof. Charles Eason saying he’s proud to see Cawthron research making a continued difference to industry success.

The Institute teamed up with Sanford and the Ministry for Primary Industries to support a major scale up their production of hatchery-reared Greenshell™ mussels back in 2014 and has a long history in Greenshell™ mussel research.

Cawthron Aquaculture Group Manager Dr Serean Adams was pleased to hear of the upcoming harvest and said, “When we first embarked on this journey it was a risky venture; previously the only mussels grown in the New Zealand ocean environment had been reared from wild spat which meant the supply was often unreliable.

Greenshell™ mussel spat

“Cawthron became involved with Greenshell™ mussels over two decades ago when very little was known about their life cycle. Cawthron scientists were motivated by the opportunity for research and discovery, and as we entered the new millennium, we closed the life cycle.

“Since then we’ve had many years of applying this knowledge at our purpose built Cawthron Aquaculture Park, which meant we were perfectly positioned to support SpatNZ’s scale up.

“This upcoming harvest is testament to the talent and hard work of Cawthron and SpatNZ scientists, and the foresight of NZ Government and the aquaculture industry to invest in this research.

"At a time when environmental uncertainty is increasing, it's even more important for the industry to have a reliable spat supply. As well, our ability to apply selective breeding to hatchery spat makes the case for hatchery production even more compelling.

“It’s awesome to see industry thriving as a result of our research.”

Cawthron Aquaculture Park

Prof. Eason is looking forward to future innovation saying, “This latest success is what our science is all about, supporting sustainable industry with world-class research.

“Greenshell™ mussels are a sustainable form of food production and an excellent source of protein and omega 3 lipids; our research into shellfish is ongoing with Cawthron scientists currently involved in many research programmes.”

Cawthron scientists are researching the health benefits of Greenshell™ mussels through projects including "Musselling Up": enhancing mobility with GSM, a Healthy Food Ingredients from Shellfish and Algae programme, and the Strategic International Collaborative Research Programme. Together these projects and new initiatives will advance the development of bioactives that benefit the health of consumers and New Zealand’s shellfish industry.

Cawthron Institute collaborates with industry and other research organisations on these projects and receives funding from the Ministry for Business and Innovation (MBIE). By funding Cawthron science, MBIE supports the growth of New Zealand’s valuable shellfish industry.


Media contact
Nicole Taber
Phone: 03 539 3212