Native Oyster Network – UK & Ireland: The world is your oyster

In Europe native oyster populations have declined by 95% since the 1950s, despite this, we are optimistic that the world will once again be an oyster for the UK’s only native oyster population of Ostrea edulis.

The Native Oyster Network (UK & Ireland) is a new network that has been established in partnership with ZSL and the University of Portsmouth, with the aim of facilitating the restoration of Native Oysters across the UK & Ireland. The network coordinates communication and information sharing between seven restoration projects and ten native oyster production companies. As native oyster restoration in the UK & Ireland is still in the early stages, we have the potential to shape a large scale ecologically coherent approach.

This session will showcase the widespread national efforts to restore this species back from the brink, whilst introducing the model of our new restoration network. We will also encourage attendees to participate in our “world is your oyster” reef-building activity, whereby we will ask them to draw on oyster shells with messages, to build a conservation optimism oyster reef. By Celine Gamble from ZSL.