“You have better, better, better, but these are really great,” mussel farmer Jan Schot expresses the enthusiastic feeling of Zeeland mussel farmers this year, when they brought out their first harvest of Zeeland mussels on Wednesday afternoon off the coast of Yerski in Zeeland. The enthusiasm is due to the fact that mussel shells are filling exceptionally well this year.
At noon, the first Zeeland mussels from the bottom culture were symbolically taken aboard the boat. For the occasion, they were taken ashore by a drone.
You get the impression that mussel farmers in Zealand say every year that the mussels are of unprecedented quality, but this year the percentage of fish is 30 to 35 percent, which is why they talk about records, Adi Risso explains. He is the foreman of mussel farms in Zeeland. “The amount of mussels in the shell at the beginning of the season is very extraordinary. What we are seeing this year, farmers have not experienced in the past 10 to 15 years.”
Johann Boskamp, former football coach of Anderlecht, among others, was on Tuesday night until 1am to analyze the Italy-Spain football match at the VRT, but on Wednesday morning Boskamp was already on the mussels boat in Yerske at will. The first mussels. “In season I eat mussels at least twice a week. I’m half Belgian anyway, but when it comes to eating mussels, I’m whole. I don’t think there is a Dutchman who eats mussels more than me. They are very tasty.”
The annual production of Zeeland mussels is fifty million kilograms, but about twenty years ago it was sometimes twice this production by a hundred million kilograms. Adi Risso adds: “To compensate for this decline, we have started a pilot project off the coast of Zealand, in the so-called Pre-Delta.” “We will start small and hopefully we will be able to start full production there around 2030. Then, in addition to Oosterschelde and the Wadden Sea, we will have a third region in the Netherlands with pieces of mussels.”