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Bellarine Peninsula pumps iron as Mussel Fest pulls 30,000, plus Hayman Reese and Thetford showcase products

January 24, 2013
Bellarine Peninsula pumps iron as Mussel Fest pulls 30,000, plus Hayman Reese and Thetford showcase  products

It is a pun Fest. Portarlington, Victoria, is flexing its mussels. GoSee is discussing the annual Mussel Festival which GoSee had some difficulty in reaching because of record interest.

We left Geelong around 11.30 am and got stuck in a traffic jam 12kms out of Portarlington. An estimated 30,000 people turned up on a perfect January 12 summer day. Entry was by gold coin donation.

The festival is run by more than 200 volunteers. The local Geelong www.Advertiser.com.au reports that about 6.5 tonnes of the musculer molluscs were sold. Event president Dick Underwood described it as a great success.

So understandably the Bellarine Peninsula is pumping iron so to speak.

The festival reflects the importance of the mussel industry to the economy of the town. It started with a handful of mussel farmers in 1982. Most commonly grown are the tasty blue mussels which are sweet in flavour, high in protein and low in fat.

It is also of great interest to GoSee that Hayman Reese was at the Mussel Festival with their associated company Thetford.

As many GoSeers will know Hayman Reese and Thetford are part of the Cequent group of companies and as GoSee has been proud to acknowledge over the years they are among our valued sponsors and a big part of the reason GoSeeAustralia remains free to users.

To some extent GoSee went to the Mussel Festival out of curiousity when we heard that Hayman Reese and Thetford were participating. The 30,000 roll-up vindicates the business decision and when we saw an old friend, the Hayman Reese Towing Solutions Nissan tow tug ute with a serious half-cab offshore boat behind our questions were answered.

Hayman Reese is working to build its presence in the boating towing and related accessories market. Thetford was at Portarlington with their full range of toilets and chemicals to lend support.

The V6 Nissan Hayman Reese Towing Solutions ute was tow tug for a TABS 640 mounted on a Dunbier dual-axle Rollamatic trailer. The TABS 640 is a tough mother of an offshore fishing rig with a high, dryfreeboard. The aluminium plate construction of the TABS range is 5mm 5083 high tensile plate with 65mm high stringers and a 10mm thick 100mm high keel backbone.

It weighs in at about 2200kg on the trailer and is fired into action with a 175hp OptiMax (Mercury) outboard. The rig is a serious showcase for Hayman Reese towing aids.

That was not all that was new. Thetford produces much more than just a pretty smell for campers.

This year Aqua Rinse Plus has a new formula.This high product is suitable for both ceramic and plastic bowls. Aqua Rinse Plus leaves a hygienic protective layer in the toilet bowl and prevents scaling.

Cequent is Australias leading manufacturer and distributor of premium brands in towing innovation, cargo management and leisure markets. Some of the major brands within the Cequent division include Hayman Reese, Rola and Thetford Porta Potti.

Editors Note: Portarlington Mussel Festival plays its part in a good news result for Australian primary producers. Aquaculture is the fastest growing primary production sector in Australia. While most seafood sectors are fully maximised or declining, mussel aquaculture is growing, and meeting the criteria of environmentally sustainable development (ESD).

Sea Bounty, a family-owned company that has been involved in the fishing industry for over 30 years, says mussel farming is considered a relatively benign form of aquaculture as mussels do not require any active feeding by farmers. Mussels acquire their food supply by filtering phytoplankton from the surrounding water, thus acting as net removers of nutrients, which is generally regarded as being of benefit to the environment.

Sea Bounty has a modern processing plant, built in 1997 and located at St Leonards on the Bellarine Peninsula south of Geelong. Sea Bounty mussels are harvested daily and delivered around Melbourne wholesalers and regional centers four days a week. The company also sends mussels all over Australia via air (overnight) or road freight twice a week.

Sea Bounty purchased one of the new aquaculture sites released by the government at Pinnace Channel in Port Phillip Bay. The Pinnace Channel Aquaculture Fisheries Reserve (PCAFR) is located in deep water (about 24 meters) inside The Heads of Port Phillip Bay.

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