Project Aim: Restoration Aquaculture
Angle Bay sits close to the mouth of the Cleddau Estuary, an historically important oyster area and within a Special Area for Conservation. The estuary is home to one of the remaining native oyster population in the UK and until recently an important winter fishery for local boats.
Commercial growing of native oysters is not common in the UK but Andy Woolmer has been carrying out a trial in Angle Bay to establish its viability both commercially and as an approach to help restoration.
The farm was installed in spring 2018 and stocked with seed oysters settled on mussel shell. Andy and MRes student Kieran Kane monitored the site over the following summer where they recorded very good growth and survival. To their surprise they discovered that a proportion of the small oysters were spawning during the summer months. This is great news highlighting the restoration potential of the farm.
Andy has already sent 25,000 one-year-old oysters to the Solent for relaying on the Isle of Wight and is already growing over 100,000 to support other restoration projects locally and elsewhere in the UK.
Triploid Rock oysters destined for restaurants are being commercially grown on the farm to support the native oyster work which will create a number of jobs and provide important associated ecosystem services for the estuary.