The link between Galicia and the mussel is a fact that there are reports already in the VIII century BC. The first settlements in Galicia Celtic took advantage of the lowering of the sea to be with a rich menu of seafood, as evidenced by the large quantities of mussel shells and other molluscs found on the outside of their fortified villages (castros). In the V century AD mussel consumption extends towards the interior of the Roman Galicia.
In the eighteenth century, from the Galician Rías, bound were issued to the court of the Hapsburgs small barrels of oysters and mussels, immersed in “Escabeche Real”, to be consumed by the nobility in Coáresma. Councilman of Santiago de Compostela, Jose Saavedra Cornide said about mussel that “its meat after the oyster is the best”. At this time there was no culture farming in the strict sense, mussels came from parks or areas subject to a licensing system that boasted some families.
The experiment was continued spreading and spreading and gaining momentum in the XIX century began to occur early experiences growing. Don Paz Granells appointment in 1869 that in Carril (Ria de Arousa) the old shellfish oyster farming was converted in mussel.
During the first decades of the XX century intensified efforts to achieve a stable culture in pens or stakes. But it was not until the 40s when it start the great development of the Galician mussel culture. When the owner of “Viveros del Rial”, which took time trying to raise mussels on poles change our method and decide to try the suspended mussel farming.
In 1945, anchoring in the Ría de Arousa the first raft. This prototype had a single cube-shaped float made of wood that supported a wooden framework which also hung a few meters of raw esparto rope. The encouraging results achieved by this pioneer da Galician mussel culture, made the following year installed 10 punts in the “escollera” Villagarcía port of Arousa. In 1949 he started the moorings in the Ria de Vigo in 1954 extends to localities Cambados, O Grove, Bueu, the Caramiñal Redondela and Puebla, a year later are installed rafts in the Ria de Sada and finally in 1956 in Muros.
It was thus in the mid-twentieth century with the development of the activity is simple passage of a crop harvesting pointer in the world of aquaculture becoming a mainstay of the economy of many coastal municipalities and promoting the development of this widespread consumption seafood until today.
These initiatory years witnessed continuous innovations of the structures, methods and practices of culture. Wooden boxes were covered with cement to increase safety and longer life, increased the size of the structure by wire rope straps that helped support the structure, some producers have adopted old hulls as flotation system. Subsequently, the ropes of straw were replaced by nylon and incorporating steel and polyester coated fiberglass buoyancy system allowed longer life, security and culture yields.
Today Mussel from Galicia is labeled DOP that offers added value to the product and safeguards the sustainability of the sector that generates a huge knock-on effect in promoting investments in assets processors (canned, frozen, pasteurized) and trading (debugging, dispatch centers) in auxiliary companies (shipyards, boilers, construction of shore, rope-) in the service sector (financial, legal and employment advice) and the development of centers of knowledge creation (research, controlling, monitoring, training).
Numerous festivals and processions dedicated to mussel are proof of her draft in society, some of them with more than thirty editions.