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Mussels Score Tops With Us Ocean Conservationists

16 September 2004

NZ Greenshell Mussels Score Tops With Us Ocean Conservationists

The US based Blue Ocean Institute has listed New Zealand Greenshellä mussels at the top of their ocean friendly seafood guide this month. Greenshellä mussels, gained a score of 3.45 out of 4.0 following a rigorous evaluation by the institute's leading environmental scientists. Five key criteria were used such as operational risks, ecological "footprint" of feed, pollution, risk to other species and effects on sensitive coastal habitats. This rating is the highest rating for any seafood listed in their guide.

Environmental agencies are increasingly using species score cards to influence what overseas seafood consumers buy based on how well the species are managed under environmentally sustainable conditions. Several major environmental agencies like the National Audubon Society, Environmental Defence, and the UK Marine Conservation Society rank farmed mussels as one of the most "eco-friendly" seafood species.

New Zealand Mussel Industry Council executive officer, Rebecca Clarkson said today "this is a great result for New Zealand mussels. We have some of the highest environmental hurdles to overcome in order to grow mussels in New Zealand and the industry has invested heavily in environmental research and good farm management practices. To have this recognised worldwide is a major coup for this industry", she said.

Ms Clarkson went on to say that recently published New Zealand seafood consumer guides had failed to include New Zealand Greenshell(tm) mussels anywhere on their lists and she looked forward to New Zealand Greenshell(tm) mussels being included in their environmentally-friendly-species-to-buy section.

ENDS

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