Project Aim: Species restoration
Restoration Forth is working to restore native oyster beds and seagrass meadows in the Firth of Forth, Scotland. This collaborative project, which began in 2022, is working with local organisations and communities to restore 30,000 native oysters and 4 hectares of seagrass by the end of 2024 and empower them to continue.
The Firth of Forth was once home to one of the largest native European oyster reefs in the NE Atlantic, which during the 1800s, yielded up to 30 million oysters per year. Oysters from the Forth were transported across the UK and Europe, both for consumption and to re-stock beds elsewhere. However, ongoing pressures from this activity led to the complete collapse of the reefs, and by the beginning of the 1900s the oysters had been fished to local extinction.
Staff from Marine Conservation Society and Heriot-Watt University are leading partners on the work to re-introduce oysters (Ostrea edulis) to the Firth of Forth. Through community engagement and citizen science, Restoration Forth will increase awareness of oyster restoration work and inspire communities to deliver marine restoration in the Firth and across Scotland.
The project is funded by Aviva, Scottish Power Foundation, Moondance Foundation and NatureScot.