“In a bid to restore native oyster populations, and in turn work towards the return of healthy, resilient coastal waters, we placed nurseries filled with oysters underneath marina pontoons,” said Celine Gamble, Wild Oysters Project Manager ZSL.
“So far, with the support of over 200 local community volunteers, who dedicated have over 2,000 hours, we have already seen oysters have a hugely positive impact, in what is a really short amount of time.
“Despite their small size oysters make a huge impact to their environment, including providing an essential habitat to important species such as butter fish, corkwing wrasse, crabs, amphipod crustaceans, blue mussels, rock cook fish and worm pipefish. We have been delighted to find all of these living alongside the native oyster nurseries we established, within just a year of us starting the project.”
The Wild Oysters Project has now begun to see the mature oysters in the nurseries release the next generation of baby oysters to the seabed. The young oysters, known as spat, will settle across the three oyster reefs created across.
“We can estimate, in just one year, the 4,000 oysters have now filtered out pollutants in almost 98 million litres of water, the equivalent of almost half a million bathtubs of water. They are the superheroes of our oceans,” added Celine Gamble.
“We are beginning to see the effects native oysters have in supporting healthy, resilient, coastal waters.”