Blue Mussel
Mytilis edulis

Half-shell of a blue mussel, with wet cream coloured organs and tissues on display.

© Tetiana Tychynska/Dreamstime

Black and brown ridged blue mussel shell with delicate white roots stuck to the surface.

© Jianghongyan/Dreamstime

Blue mussels are the most popular mussel to farm and eat. Prince Edward Island is the leading producer in Canada.

Good to Know . . .

Four ropes covered in small mussels, resting on a dock and suspended from a thicker rope.

Dreamer Company/iStock

Mussel farmers leave ropes in the water to attract mussel larvae that are looking for a place to attach themselves.

The ropes are later removed and the mussel seeds transferred into “socks.”

Crane on the back of a fishing boat lifting a line out of the water for workers to access dozens of mussel socks hanging from the line.

PEI Aquaculture Alliance

Mussel socks are a Canadian invention. Farmers suspend them from floating lines, or from rafts anchored in protected bays.

Close-up of a mussel underwater, with shell open a few millimeters and its white papillae protruding along the edge of the shell.

By Ericsfr — CC BY-SA 4.0,

Mussels are filter feeders. They get all the nutrients they need by drawing seawater in through their gills and filtering out microscopic creatures and algae.

Bowl of cooked mussels with garnish and lemons on a wooden table, surrounded by other foods.


Mussels and other shellfish are an amazing food. They are rich in minerals such as iron, zinc, and magnesium. They are also a great source of protein.

Aerial view of mussel cages lined up in squares in a large body of water, with land in the background.

Kevin Baillie/Shutterstock

Shellfish can also remove too many nutrients from the water. To avoid this problem, provincial governments “lease” sites. This helps keep the locations, sizes, and numbers of farms sustainable.