The recycling effect of filter feeding has also been shown to increase the productivity of sea-grass beds, important habitats for juvenile fish. The filter-feeding capacity of mussels is also essential for integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA). Mussel lines and oyster rafts provide habitat for a variety of invertebrates and fish communities.
Farmed shellfish rely on natural food particles present in the water column. They do not need to be fed. Growers are constantly monitoring water quality, according to standards set in the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program, and if there are problems, areas are closed and harvesting stops.
Shellfish are cultured in an environmentally sustainable manner. Mussels are grown in socks on ropes suspended in the water. Scallops are usually grown out in enclosed cages. Oysters and clams are seeded onto beaches or grown out on rafts. In every case, they are grown and harvested in a way that does not require dredging or disturbance of the ocean floor.
Learn more about shellfish and sustainability