Chilean blue mussels

Mytilus chilensis

Chilean blue mussel, Chilean mussel

Several mussel farms in Chile have been certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) as ecologically sustainable. A detailed list of certified farms is available on the ASC website.

What is it?

Chilean blue mussels (Mytilus chilensis) are a type of blue mussel that is native to Chile.

How was it caught or farmed?

Chilean blue mussels are farmed using rope culture (both suspended and moored on the seafloor). As mussels are filter feeders, no feed is required and damage to the environment is minor and limited to the immediate area (waste discharge that has settled on the floor). Lately there have been a few issues in Chilean mussel aquaculture, mostly related to changing environmental conditions and overstocking.

Where is it from?

Chilean management system for mussel aquaculture addresses most issues effectively, with some probable negative environmental effects. Many mussels’ producers are 3rd party certified. There are 12 BAP certified facilities (Mollusc farm: mussels) and 56 ASC certified mussel operations in Chile. It is estimated that around 36 % of Chilean mussel production might be certified.


Fishing Type: Aquaculture (ropes)

Origin: Imported - Chile

Ropes are suspended in the water of sheltered bays and seeded with young mussels or oysters. They grow on the ropes and feed on particles in the water. As they are filter feeders, mussels and oysters actually enhance water quality by reducing the amount of organic matter and nutrients. Damage to the environment is generally limited to the immediate area (waste that settles on the seafloor).