The past two months have been very busy ones for Catalina Sea Ranch staff. Harvest equipment was received from New Zealand company ANSCO, and efforts have been underway fitting it to our harvest boat, the Enterprise. This equipment uses 3 dedicated hydraulic water pumps, a clean-diesel hydraulic power pack, and a power take off from the main engine to create the symphony of mechanization that will allow crew to harvest up to 8,000 pounds per hour!
Mussels enter the machinery via the continuous 8,000 foot long grow lines - this first function pulls this rope through opposing rubber plates, shearing off the mussels from the rope. They progress through the de-clumper, which breaks the large groups of mussels gently apart while cleaning them with high pressure water. From here, the mussels are lifted with a bucket elevator (center of picture) and fed to a grader machine, which sorts them by size. Next, they enter a debyssor, to remove the bissell threads, or "beards." Finally they are inspected and sorted into 5 pound bags, and placed immediately onto ice. Once each 500 pound tote is full with 100 bags, the next tote is filled. Once the harvest for the day is complete, the Enterprise returns to shore and offloads directly into distributor's refrigerated trucks, ensuring the freshest mussels are available to the consumer.