As we move further into the 21st century, it is becoming more apparent that not only is it important to have a healthy diet but also very important to eat food that’s harvested in a manner that’s good for our planet. Ninety percent of life on earth and over half of the proteins that feed humans come from the world's oceans. This heavy dependency on marine life has led to ocean marine populations being depleted faster than they can be replenished.
One of the solutions to this issue is to harvest seafood from sustainable resources, feeding people around the world in an eco-friendly, healthy way. At Penn Cove Shellfish, along with our joint venture partners Coast Seafoods Company, we start production of our products at our own hatcheries and follow it through from planting, grow out, harvest and distribution.
We produce our own algae diets at our shellfish hatchery in Quilcene Washington to feed the larval shellfish spawned and hatched there. This ability has led Penn Cove Shellfish to become the largest mussel farm in America and Coast Seafoods to become the largest producing farm for Pacific and Kumamoto oysters in the U.S., if not the world.
Our hatcheries have also allowed Penn Cove Shellfish to expand mussel culture operations to Quilcene Bay in Washington State to provide additional production capacity. Coast Seafoods is also rapidly expanding their plantings of manila clams on part of their 15,000 acres of tidelands, in an effort to further supply Penn Cove Shellfish a larger clam resource for sale.
The ecosystem services and biodiversity resulting from the expanded habitat created in both bottom and longline culture of oysters and floating culture of mussels is another positive feature of our sustainable farming methods. These methods do not require any added feed or chemicals to produce our shellfish and that’s why farmed mussels, clams and oysters are rated as a green seafood choice by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Seafood Choices Alliance.
To paraphrase Aldo Leopold, sustainable means taking resources from the environment only if it does not disturb the "integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community," and doing so in such a way that our world can naturally replenish itself. All that this planet has to offer has to be maintained to ensure a healthy environment for generations to come.
Penn Cove Shellfish is proud to have been taking part in this new concept about seafood production called Sustainability for over 30 years.