Novigrad Mussel in the procedure of obtaining designation of origin
Mussels that naturally grow or are farmed in the Novigrad Sea are widely known as a high quality sea product. As early as 1873 Croatian naturalist Spiridon Brusina described Novigrad mussel pointing out their importance for local population and the fact that the mussels caugth in the Novigrad Sea were transported to other cities along the Adriatic coast. However, mussel farming increased in production only about ten years ago. Local mussel farmers established the Shellfish Farmers Association Novigrad Mussel in October 2015. As one of its main objectives the Association established the protection of Novigrad Mussel with designation of origin, as well as its future branding. In September 2016, after receiving the financial support from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Association, together with the University of Zadar and Zadar County Rural Development Agency (AGRRA), started the procedure of Novigrad Mussel as protected designation of origin.
In July 2108, the product specification for protected designation of origin Novigrad Mussel was created with description of appearance and farming area. Special attention was paid to traceability system which ensures that only the mussels whose overall farming cycle, from spat mussels collection to comercial size, occurs in the Novigrad Sea and Novsko Strait can obtain the designation. The most important part of the specification are specific features of the Novigrad Sea and Novsko Strait as well as particular parameters of Novigrad Mussel quality which makes it different from other products on the market. Moreover, a causal connection between special characteristics of farming area and peculiar quality of Novigrad Mussel is explained as well.
The Association applied for protected designation of origin at the Ministry of Agriculture in July 2018. It is expected that Novigrad Mussel will be one of the first Croatian sea products obtaining this prestigious designation.