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Welcome to the first Shellfish Centre newsletter!
Through quarterly newsletters we aim to keep you informed with updates from the different
research and innovation projects and connect to the wider community promoting the shellfish sector in Wales.
Please send information to that you wish to share within the Shellfish Centre network and be included in the next newsletter.
The Shellfish Centre is a science and innovation hub to support and boost the shellfish sector in Wales by building on a history of collaborative research to identify opportunities and constraints to production. We are based in the Marine Centre Wales, School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University on the Isle of Anglesey and part-funded by the EU's West Wales and the Valleys European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh Government and Bangor University.
ERDF logo
Bangor University logo
Marine Centre Wales, Menai Bridge
Prince Madog research vessel moored with Marine Centre Wales in the background
Menai Strait
Shellfish Centre staff and crew working aboard the Prince Madog
Shellfish Centre opening workshop group photograph of attendees
The Shellfish Centre projects aim to address the main issues industry have identified:
  1. Water Quality
  2. Seed supply limitations
  3. Space
  4. Diversification
  5. New Fisheries
Find below a brief description of a few examples of our collaborative projects with industry:
Oyster trestles
Assessing detection of human noroviruses in mussels and oysters & the effectiveness of depuration processes in collaboration with Menai Oysters and Mussels Ltd.
Razor clams
The Shellfish Centre is working with Deepdock Ltd. & NW IFCA to fill in significant knowledge gaps about the abundance, distribution and stock structure of razor clams.
read more>>
Native oysters
Alongside Conwy Mussels Company, we are investigating the feasibility to reinstate the native oyster both for ecological enhancement and as an active fishery in Wales.
read more>>
Recent news and activities related to shellfish species and the Shellfish Centre staff:
Shellfish Centre staff processing wastewater to analyse for Covid-19
Shellfish Centre staff cleaning M-Sparc visors for the NHS
M-Sparc visors for the NHS
Fisherman safely working wearing face masks made by Shellfish Centre staff
Recent Shellfish Centre Publications:

Farkas, K., et al. (2020). Emerging technologies for the rapid detection of enteric viruses in the aquatic environment. Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health, 16, pp. 1-6.

Farkas, K., et al. (2020). Viral indicators for tracking domestic wastewater contamination in the aquatic environmentWater Research.
Other shellfish related publications from Bangor University:

Carss, D. N., et al. (2020). Ecosystem services provided by a non-cultured shellfish species: The common cockle Cerastoderma edule. Marine Environmental Research, p.104931. 

Collins, C., et al. (2020). Impacts of climate change on aquaculture. MCCIP Science Review 2020, 482–520.

Galley, T. H., et al. (2020). Factors affecting byssus attachment in juvenile scallops, Pecten maximus (L.). Aquaculture
Other shellfish related publications:

Allison, S., et al. (2020). Strongholds of Ostrea edulis populations in estuaries in Essex, SE England and their association with traditional oyster aquaculture: evidence to support a MPA designation. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 100(1), 27-36.

Barillé, L., et al. (2020). Biological, socio-economic, and administrative opportunities and challenges to moving aquaculture offshore for small French oyster-farming companies. Aquaculture, 521, 735045.

Cocci, P., et al. (2020). Transcriptional Alteration of Gene Biomarkers in Hemocytes of Wild Ostrea edulis with Molecular Evidence of Infections with Bonamia spp. and/or Marteilia refringens Parasites. Pathogens, 9(5), 323.

Marta, S., et al. (2020). Immunotoxicity of polystyrene nanoplastics in different hemocyte subpopulations of Mytilus galloprovincialis. Scientific Reports (Nature Publisher Group), 10(1).

Smyth, D. M., et al. (2020). Wild gregarious settlements of Ostrea edulis in a semi‐enclosed sea lough: a case study for unassisted restoration. Restoration Ecology, 28(3), pp. 645-654.

Tan, K., & Zheng, H. (2020). Ocean acidification and adaptive bivalve farming. Science of The Total Environment, 701, 134794.

Vasapollo, C., et al. (2020). Impact on Macro-Benthic Communities of Hydraulic Dredging for Razor Clam Ensis minor in the Tyrrhenian SeaFrontiers in Marine Science, 7, 14.
Past events the Shellfish Centre has attended or held:

Future events the Shellfish Centre plan to get involved with: 
Lewis Le Vay
Lewis Le Vay
Operation Director
Esther Howie
Esther Howie
Project Manager
Karen Tuson
Administration Officer
Ros James
Ros James
Administration Assistant
Shelagh Malham
Shelagh Malham
Research Fellow
Jon King
Jon King
Research Fellow
Kata Farkas
Kata Farkas
Research Officer
David Smyth
David Smyth
Research Officer
Claire Szostek
Claire Szostek
Research Officer
Sophie Ward
Sophie Ward
Research Officer
Julie Webb
Julie Webb
Research Officer
Ben Winterbourn
Ben Winterbourn
Research Officer
Jenna Alexander
Jenna Alexander
Research Support
Philippa Bayford
Philippa Bayford
Research Support
Maria Hayden-Hughes
Maria Hayden-Hughes
Research Support
Susan Allender
Susan Allender
Lab Manager
Information about a different shellfish species in every issue of the Shellfish Centre newsletter. In this edition we focus on...
Common Blue Mussel, Mytilus edulis
Handful of mussels
Mussels are commonly found along the intertidal shores of the British Isles.
  • Older individuals can grow up to 15 cm in length although the average size of a mussel is smaller at around 5 cm.
  • Mussels congregate together using their byssus threads (fibrous strands) to stick together on hard substrate such as a rock surface or the seabed where they can form dense mussel beds. 
  • Large beds are found in the North Wales as well as in the Morecambe Bay, Wash, estuaries in SW England and in west Scotland.
The species is widely cultivated.
  • Mussel farming is a low-impact method of aquaculture and high quality water standards are required for cultivation of shellfish for human consumption.
  • Mussel farming requires no feed inputs therefore farming of mussels is a good way of producing seafood.
  • Also there are no chemicals used in mussel farming.
Marine Conservation Society (MCS) state that farmed mussels can be consumed all year round. Eat rope grown or hand-gathered mussels or mussels from MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified fisheries as these are more sustainable.
source sustainably - shop locally - eat seasonally
Conwy Moules Mariniére
Recipe by:
Conwy Mussels
Moules Marinières
(serves 4)
You will need:
1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
1 onion (finely chopped)
2 celery sticks (finely chopped)
1 Tbsp olive oil
knob of butter
1/2 cup of dry white wine
1.75kg Welsh mussels

1. Wash the mussels under cold, running water. discard any mussels if the shells don’t close when tapped.

2. Pull off tough fibres (byssus threads) and remove any barnacles with a knife. Wash mussels again.

3. Place garlic, onion, celery in a large pan or wok and fry over a gentle in a mix of olive oil and butter, until starting to soften.
4. Pour in about half a cupful of a good quality dry white wine then add the mussels.

5. Stir everything together, pop the lid on, turn up the heat, and let them steam for 4-6 minutes until the majority of the mussels have opened.
Enjoy with a big chunk of crusty bread, frites and chilled white wine.
Mussels are 100% safe to eat as long as you follow 2 simple guidelines.
  • Before cooking, discard any mussels if the shells don’t close when tapped.
  • After cooking, discard any mussels that don’t open.
King Scallop & Hoisin Sauce Bao Bun
Recipe by:
Neil Davies of
Catch 22 Brasserie, Anglesey
King Scallop & Hoisin Sauce Bao Bun
(serves 4)
You will need:
8 bao buns
12 Welsh king scallops
Sesame seeds
Crushed salted peanuts
Thinly sliced cucumber
Thinly sliced spring onion

For the Hoisin sauce: 
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp water
4 Tbsp black bean sauce
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
6 fresh dates, pitted
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp 5 spice powder
1. Blend all the hoisin sauce ingredients together until you have a smooth paste.
2. Cut the scallops horizontally to give you 24 pieces (3 halves per bun).
3. Heat a large frying pan, when hot add the scallops and cook for 1 minute until caramelised, flip over the scallops and remove the pan from the heat.
4. Season scallops with salt and pepper and then scatter sesame seeds on top, and heat the Bao buns according to packet instructions.
5. Spread the hoisin sauce across the bottom half of the buns, top with cucumber, then 3 scallop halves.
6. Drizzle a little more sauce across the scallops and then top with spring onion and a little crushed peanut.
Welsh Seafood Pasta

You will need:
400g Mafaldine or linguine pasta
50ml olive oil
2 crushed garlic cloves
100g cooked Welsh cockles
250g fresh live Welsh mussels, cooked in a little white wine
100g Welsh white crab meat
50g Welsh brown crab meat
1 small tin chopped tomatoes
1 chilli deseeded and chopped finely
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 lemon cut in wedges

1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente approx. 15 mins, drain and either refresh in cold water or add a splash of olive oil and keep to one side whilst you finish the sauce.

2. Whilst the pasta is cooking in a large saucepan heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and chilli and cook gently taking care not to burn the garlic, add the chopped tomatoes and brown crab meat, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 or 6 minutes.

3. Add the white crab meat, cooked cockles, mussels to the sauce and toss in the pasta.

4. Serve with lots of freshly chopped parsley and lemon.
Cardigan Bay Lobster Burger
Cardigan Bay Lobster Burger
(serves 2)
You will need:
1 Welsh lobster- tail & claw meat
2 burger buns
2 egg yolks
2 garlic cloves
150ml of rapeseed oil
1 unwaxed lemon
3Tbsp of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 tsp of capers, chopped
½ red chilli, deseeded & finely diced
1 little gem lettuce, shredded
Salt and pepper
Unsalted butter

1. Cook lobster whole and extract the meat as required and set to one side.

2. Wrap garlic in foil/greaseproof paper and roast for 45 mins in the oven at 150°C until the cloves of garlic are soft.

3. Zest the lemon and set the zest to one side. Then cut in half and scorch the cut surface in a hot frying pan, grill or blow torch.

4. To make garlic & lemon mayo, add the egg yolks in a large bowl, peel then mince the roasted garlic cloves into a paste with a pinch of salt, whisk the eggs and garlic together. Next very slowly start to add drops of the rapeseed oil into the eggs and garlic, keep whisking continuously to avoid the mixture from splitting until you have a thick and vibrant mixture.

5. Next whisk in the juice from the scorched lemon and season well with salt & pepper.

6. To make gremalota, combine the parsley, capers, lemon zest & red chilli.

7. Cut the burger buns in half, toast under the grill.
Warm the lobster meat in a frying pan with a good amount of butter. Lightly season and add a squeeze of lemon.

8. Slather burger bun with the garlic & lemon mayo, add shredded lettuce, top with lobster meat, dress with a good amount of gremolata.
Serve with plenty of chips and enjoy!
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