The potential of DEB theory to simulate an organism life-cycle has been demonstrated at numerous occasions. However, its applicability requires parameter estimates that are not easily obtained by direct observations. During the last years various attempts were made to estimate the main DEB parameters for bivalve species. The estimation procedure was by then, however, rather ad-hoc and based on additional assumptions that were not always consistent with the DEB theory principles. A new approach has now been developed - the covariation method - based on simultaneous minimization of the weighted sum of squared deviations between data sets and model predictions in one single procedure. This paper presents the implementation of this method to estimate the DEB parameters for the blue mussel Mytilus edulis, using several data sets from the literature. After comparison with previous trials we conclude that the parameter set obtained by the covariation method leads to a better fit between model and observations, with potentially more consistency and robustness. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.