Story: Aquaculture

Mussel spat (1st of 2)

Mussel spat

Spat are very young shellfish, and the raw material of mussel farms. Mussel spat develop from a floating larval stage. The larvae attach themselves to seaweed or ropes and develop into miniature shellfish 0.3 mm long – about the width of a needle tip. They move from site to site until they are 0.6 mm in length, when they attach themselves permanently to a settlement site. Green-lipped mussel spat, pictured here, are oval with brown zigzag markings on the shell.

Using this item

NIWA – National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Maggy Wassilieff, 'Aquaculture - Green-lipped mussels', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 April 2024)

Story by Maggy Wassilieff, published 12 Jun 2006