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Environmentally Friendly Scottish Mussels Feature on BBC Horizon

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SCOTLAND, UK - The environmentally friendly credentials of Scottish rope grown mussels were highlighted in a BBC Horizon programme screened 20 August.

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The two-part programme hosted by Michael Mosley focused on meat consumption and ethical ways of eating protein. During the programme, the presenter visited Shetland Mussels to see how Scottish rope grown mussels are cultivated.

The farm, which is a member of the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group (SSMG), grows its mussels on ropes suspended from floats in the sea. The young mussels (as free floating larvae or spat) settle naturally on the suspended ropes and then grow by feeding on sea plankton found in the rich tidal flows.

From their examination, BBC Horizon concluded that one of the best avenues for protein intake was to consume rope grown mussels. Much of this conclusion stemmed from the Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum (SARF) report commissioned by SSMG a few years ago to establish the carbon footprint of mussels. This revealed a footprint that is around 19 times less than found in beef production.

During the programme, Dr Mosley described Scottish rope grown mussels as “one of the most efficient and tasty forms of animal protein in the world”.

Michael Tait, chairman of SSMG, said: “This is a very positive aspect of our sector and further highlights the sustainable nature of Scottish mussel production. Furthermore, mussels are very tasty and consuming them is good for your health because they contain many important minerals and vitamins and are also a good source of Omega-3.”

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