AquaFood Ltd. is a family-owned business, set up in 2008 in Bulgaria with financing and guidance from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. We are a team of dedicated seafood professionals, operating a mussel farm in the Black Sea of Bulgaria, along the pristine shores of Ravda and Nessebar. We specialise in producing fresh, live mussels, using the innovative Norwegian SmartFarm technology. To us, seafood is the food of the future! It is sustainable, nutritious, affordable, and a great culinary experience. Our goal is to discover novel and better ways of making seafood and to expand into the seafood industry.

Our Mussels

We grow mediterranean mussels (mytilus galloprovincialis). Compared to blue mussels, they tend to have a larger meat with buttery texture and a distinct flavour profile. Their shell is also larger and tougher, making them more durable during transport. They prefer warmer waters and are at their best during summer, before spawning season. Mussel meat size yield varies between 20-30%, depending on various factors. We offer live mussels which are suitable for cooking, freezing, canning, or any further processing.

Give us a call and have a try! Samples are available upon request, as long as we are in season.

Technology and Production Capacities

Our production area is situated in Bulgaria, Burgas Municipality. The mussels grow on SmartUnits – a net of ropes suspended on a floating pipe and buoys. During spawning season, mussel spats naturally attach to the SmartUnit. They take two years to fully mature and reach an appropriate size. We don’t use any preservatives, stabilisers, or chemical treatment which makes our mussels 100% natural.

During the different stages of growth, our ship frequently visits the mussel nets. On each visit, the mussel nets are brushed with robotic brushes attached to the ship that free the mussels from predators such as whelks and crabs. They also optimise mussel density on the ropes to increase their yields and meat size.

Once grown, our harvesting season is ready to begin. To harvest our mussels, the ship uses the robotic brushes to detach them from the net, after which they are pumped onto a conveyor belt. There they are washed, scrubbed, and sorted.

You can find more information about our technology on our partners website:

Quality Control

Our primary focus is to ensure that our mussels meet and exceed the health and safety food standards of the European Union. We rely on controlling several key factors when delivering the best possible product for you.


Our location provides ideal conditions for cultivating mussels of the highest quality, in a responsible and sustainable way.

  • The Black Sea has a much higher concentration of algae than other saltwater bodies in the world. Those organisms are a crucial food source for the mussels, making the Black Sea a perfect area for their cultivation.
  • The farm is situated about a kilometre away from the shore, at a depth of 10 meters, where the mussels are kept clear from grit and sand.
  • The area of cultivation is widely regarded as ecologically pure. The European Environment Agency has reported highly of multiple key ecological characteristics of the area. For example, they have evaluated the bathing waters of all nearby beaches as having excellent quality. Eight of those beaches are awarded the Blue Flag Certification.
  • The mussel farm is located within the protected area of Natura 2000, an initiative by the European Environment Agency. This means the area is crucial to the diversity of natural habitats and wildlife in the European Union.
  • Growing mussels leaves а net positive impact on our environment. They filter sea water from biological pollutants, without negatively impacting the quality of the mussels. The farm naturally provides food for the indigenous sea creatures, maintaining their populations and diversity.

On-site testing of water quality and food health and safety

We undergo regular water quality and mussel health and safety tests by accredited laboratories, in accordance with EU statutes and regulations. Here is the list of the things we test for:

  • Salmonella spp., Vibrio cholerae, Escherichia coli, faecal coliforms, petrochemicals, 9 types of heavy metals, pesticides, amnesic and paralytic shellfish toxins, yessotoxins, dinophysis toxins, pectenotoxins, azaspiracids, pH, oxygen saturation, total dissolved solids, salinity and other pathogens dependent on the discretion of the regulatory agency.

The results of the tests are reported to and approved by the Black Sea Basin Directorate - Varna.

Before shipping, our team of professionals, trained and certified in Codex Alimentarius and HACCP principles, provide final on-site quality control. This entails manually discarding any mussel with defects such as discoloured meat, bad odour, broken, deformed or opened shells and insufficient size (mussel shells must be at least 4.4cm).

Compliance with European Regulations:

1. Permit for utilisation of a water body № 02360008

on 27.11.2008, issued by the Ministry of Environment and Water, ammended by Decision № 852 from 12.10.2011; Decision №1055 from 20.02.2013; Decision №1317 from 21.03.2014 and Decision №121 from 16.11.2016 of The Black Sea Basin Directorate – Varna.

2.Certificate of inclusion in the Register of persons, who breed and grow fish and other marine organisms in the entity „Mussel Farm Aquafood“,

№418 of 23.03.2009, issued by the Executive Agency of Fisheries and Aquaculture (EAFA) at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, by lot №02100025

3. Certificate of registration of area for cultivation of moluscs

№ М-02-15/ 17.10.2013, for a livestock farm with a veterinary registration number № 82380020, issued by the Regional Directorate of Food Safety from the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

4. Certificate of registration of an entity for production of food

№ 205 from 30.10.2014, for a mussel farm for harvesting and dispatch center for cultivated black sea mussels, issued by the Regional Directorate of Food Safety from the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in accordande with Regulation (EC) 852 / 2004, Regulation (EC) 853 / 2004 under reg.№BG0214012 for Food Group – fish, fish products and other marine products.

Let us know if you have any additional criteria or certificates you would like us to meet.

Storage and Shipping

We always strive to be flexible in our shipping arrangements and we try to accommodate our clients as best as we can. After confirming an order, we can harvest, pack and ship our product on the next day. Our default packing method is using plastic mesh bags of various sizes. We always pack in extra, since mussels tend to lose a small percent of their weight in water while reaching their destination. Alternatively, we can pack the mussels in vacuum-sealed bags. During transportation, we keep the mussel fresh by chilling them in our refrigerator trucks. After harvesting, the mussels remain fresh for up to 6 days.

For additional details, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

*Note – in the rare cases of unexpected weather conditions, the harvest might be delayed for several days at most.


In 2019, we opened a new underwater winery! Our wines rest and mature in the bottom of the sea, tempering their sharp taste, astringent tannins and acidity.

Contact Us