Chichester Harbour Oyster Partnership Initiative (CHOPI)

Project Aim: Promote native oyster fishery

The Chichester Harbour Oyster Partnership Initiative (CHOPI) is a partnership of fishers and local authorities, set up in 2010 with the aim to promote the native oyster fishery. There is a small wild population of native oysters in Chichester Harbour and there has been an oyster fishery there for hundreds of years. Various research projects have been undertaken including broodstock relaying, collection of length frequency and catch per unit effort data in partnership with local environmental health officers, pre-season catch per unit effort assessment, a valuation of the value of Chichester Harbour shellfisheries and promotion of better water quality. CHOPI has been part of the development of the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) Oyster Permit Byelaw (2015). The Byelaw has restrictions on size of dredges, amount of time fishing and a harvest control threshold. This means that when the fleet average catch per unit effort for the day falls below 15 kg per hour per 1m dredge width, the fishery closes.