from fish bait to gourmet
Mussels, where it all started at Penn Cove. What once was considered as fish BAIT BY MANY is now an on-trend gourmet shellfish product with endless possibilities of preparation and flavors!
At the present time, Penn Cove Shellfish grows and harvests over two million pounds of mussels per year from our two farms located in Penn Cove and in Quilcene Bay, both located in the northern Puget Sound of Washington State. We start production of our product on our farms and in our partner's hatchery and follow it through from planting, thinning, grow-out, harvest and distribution. We never feed or fertilize our shellfish, we only give them an ideal place to grow and thrive. As a matter of fact, because they are filter feeders, our mussel farms enhance habitat and provide ecosystem services for many near shore species and adds to the overall health of the marine ecosystem.
Most days our two 64-foot, custom mussel harvesting vessels, the "Moule Mariner" and the "Mytilus" can be seen alongside our mussel rafts in Penn Cove and Quilcene Bay. Each of the mussel rafts support between 900 to 2500 mussel lines and can yield up to 50 pounds of mussels on each line. The mussels take about 14 months to reach a harvestable size, so there's an ongoing rotation among the rafts between juvenile mussels and those ready to harvest, enabling year-round mussel production and optimum quality.
Combining the work of conservation and public health organizations, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has identified farmed mussels, clams and oysters as "Super Green," meaning they’re a good seafood choice for human health and their production doesn’t harm the oceans. These products are rated as a "Best Choice" on the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Green List, the Blue Ocean Institute Seafood Ranking guide and the Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise Seafood list.
Since 1975 we’ve been farming mussels at Penn Cove and are America's oldest and largest commercial mussel farm. This means we’ve been around long enough to know what customers expect in quality shellfish, and our goal is to continually exceed our customer's needs and expectations. At Penn Cove, we farm both the Penn Cove and Mediterranean Mussels. Both types of mussels occur naturally in the Puget Sound region, however the Penn Cove Mussels are most commonly found throughout Washington State whereas the Mediterranean mussels are normally found further south in California in the latitudes similar to farms located in southern France, Spain, Italy and Greece.
Click any of the buttons below to learn more about each specific type of mussel we grow.