Jake Bartrom: I'm Jake Bartrom and these are my mussels.
My family has been farming mussels in the Hauraki Gulf for over 35 years. It's a craft we've honed over decades.
First we set our baby mussels on a continuous rope then we add water, just water. After 12 to 18 months when they're at their absolute best we harvest.
Naturally perfect and nurtured to perfection.
I feel really good about what I do for my job. My industry employs over 3000 Kiwis in green jobs. It generates nearly $400 million dollars per year and that's a big contribution to our New Zealand
economy and our local communities and that's through the sustainable production of beautiful seafood.
Best part of the job is seeing a dropper full of mussels coming up the chute knowing they're in great condition ready for harvest. That's the moment after a year
and a half hard-working care it all comes together today we start at 4 a.m and by mid-afternoon some of these mussels will be live in fresh and local Kiwi supermarkets, the rest will be snap frozen and served in restaurants from
New York to Beijing and everywhere in between.
They're sought after around the world - there's nothing like a greenshell mussel grown in the pure waters of New Zealand. They're low in fat, high in protein and a good source of omega-3s - New Zealand's own superfood - nutritious and delicious they're also good for the environment. Our industry is one of the most efficient and most sustainable forms of protein production on the planet because mussels are filter feeders they take all the nutrients from the sea that actually improves water quality and that's why they are widely regarded as a supremely sustainable seafood. Green by name green by nature.
The mussel file itself creates an ecosystem full of crabs, snapper, kingfish, trevally and you ask any recreational fisherman where the best fishing is and they'll tell you it's in a mussel farm. There's an incredible abundance of life within the farm and it's got to be good for local waters, protecting these waters is very important to me. I live here I fish here I dive here - it's not only a place of work it's a part of my life, and because your livelihood depends on it. You develop a personal connection with it and you do anything to protect it.
The opportunity for New Zealand's aquaculture industry to grow is incredible. We're still learning all the time, we're investing in new technology, new people, new ideas and we're making it work.
I've grown up with this industry and I've seen it evolved from humble beginnings to become a sophisticated modern sector and it's been built from scratch by dedicated, passionate, innovative Kiwis.
I'm proud to be a marine farmer. I'm proud to say these are my mussels - New Zealand greenshell mussels.