Shellfish and Water Quality

Landscape picture of shellfish mud flats and grasses.

Bivalve molluscs (oysters, mussels, clams) feed by filtering the water that washes over the shellfish bed. Because of their feeding mechanism, these shellfish can accumulate chemical and/or microbiological (bacteria and viruses) pollutants and naturally occurring toxins from the surrounding waters even at a considerable distance from pollution sources.

 

Did You Know

A single mussel may filter up to 300 times its weight in one hour.