A total of 1,300 native oysters have been returned to waters in the Firth of Clyde, as part of a restoration project to bring back these ‘ocean superheroes’ from the brink of extinction.
The Wild Oysters Project, a partnership between ZSL (Zoological Society of London), Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) and British Marine aims to help restore healthy, resilient coastal waters around the UK.
Earning themselves the title ‘ocean superheroes’, native oysters (Ostrea edulis) provide great benefits to the oceans health, including filtering pollutants from our seas and acting as an important habitat for marine wildlife. Declining by 95 per cent due to human activities, native oyster populations have continued to decrease since the 1800s, meaning their benefits to the ocean have been lost.
In a bid to restore native oyster populations, and in turn see the return of healthy coastal waters, nurseries filled with oysters will be suspended underneath marina pontoons in Largs Yacht Haven and Fairlie Quay Marina. The nurseries create a micro habitat where the oysters can reproduce, releasing millions of baby oysters, known as larvae, into the ocean.
British Marine environment executive, James Scott-Anderson, said: “British marinas are once again enabling the recovery of oysters. Largs Yacht Haven is one of the largest in the UK with over 700 berths, and Fairlie Quay is a fully commercial operation, and are ideal for the deployment of the oyster nurseries with exceptionally clean waters.
“Both venues are a great example of how large and busy facilities can host environmental projects, proving how industry, science and sustainability can work together successfully.”