The Native Oyster Network. Oyster reefs can increase fish abundance and biodiversity by providing a protected nursery ground for juvenile fish, refuge from predation and a source of food resulting from the associated biodiversity. Native oysters and native oyster beds are a “Species and Feature of Conservation Importance respectively (SOCI and FOCI) under Marine and Coastal Access Act. The native oyster (Ostrea edulis) is now almost extinct in many areas around Europe, having declined by over 90 per cent due to human impacts. You can find out more about the initiative on our website. NORA is the Native Oyster Restoration Alliance since November 2017. The European native oyster (Ostrea edulis) is a bivalve mollusc that is typically associated with shallow, subtidal coastal and estuarine habitats. The European Native Oyster Habitat Restoration Handbook is the ultimate “how to” guide to native oyster restoration in the UK and Ireland. The Network was set up in 2018 by ZSL and the University of Portsmouth to support the growing need of the species, habitat and people working to restore native oysters in the UK & Ireland. Oysters have the ability to remove excess nutrients from water, particularly nitrogen, which at high levels can be detrimental to the environment by promoting harmful algal blooms, depleting oxygen and fish death. By providing a structure colonised by algae tunicates, sponges, crabs, crustaceans and ascidians. Dive for prizes with our latest campaign. The network aims to facilitate an ecologically coherent and collaborative approach to native oyster restoration across the UK and Ireland. Oysters filter algae and organic matter from the water column, which can significantly improve surrounding water quality by decreasing the turbidity (a measure of the amount of suspended material in the liquid). In 2013 the Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne Estuaries Marine Conservation Zone was designated by the UK government with the conservation objective of recovering both native oyster beds (the habitat) and native oysters (the population) - this is the only protected area in the UK for native oyster beds. This is an area of marine restoration that is rapidly growing as a promising method of increasing biodiversity and improving coastal water quality as well as protecting the threatened native oyster. Find out more about face masks, the ‘rule of six’ and how we are making your visit safe here. Oyster beds used to be an important structural and ecological component of Britain’s bays and estuaries and have fuelled waterside economies for centuries. At 284km2, it is the largest protected area for native oysters in Europe. Subscribe to email updates from ZSL and expect to hear about: The Zoological Society of London is incorporated by Royal Charter - Registered Charity in England and Wales no. UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species and habitat, UK-post 2010 Biodiversity Framework with its own Species Action Plan. The unique 3-dimensional habitats created by native oysters support a higher biodiversity of species than the surrounding sediment/seabed. The two halves (valves) of the shell are different shapes. The European flat oyster / Native Oyster Ostrea edulis is a habitat-building bivalve mollusc.Young oysters have a planktonic phase, after which they preferentially settle out on adult oysters (Figure 1). The Native Oyster Network is a growing community of academics, conservationists, oystermen and NGO’s who are working to restore self-sustaining populations of native oysters. Our shared vision is for the Essex estuaries to have self-sustaining populations of native oysters that provide ecosystem services, sustainable fisheries and increased biodiversity whilst recognising their cultural importance. With the long-term goal of developing sustainable native oyster populations across the UK and Ireland. The shellfish are known as ‘ecosystem engineers’ because they provide the foundation for entire ecosystems – filtering water and providing vital food and habitat for coastal wildlife. We hope to see the number of restoration projects in the UK increase, with the support and knowledge shared through the new network. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Find out more about the network on their website here:, Alison Debney manages the Native Oyster restoration project. This has been developed in dialogue with industry, scientists and nature conservation authorities. Facilitating the restoration of the Native Oyster across UK and Ireland The loss of the wild native oysters is largely a result of historic overfishing with stock depletion being recorded as early as the first century AD. At present, there are a number established native oyster restoration projects across the UK and Ireland, located in Portsmouth, Essex, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Blackwater Oysterman Association preparing native oysters before re-laying in the restoration zone. The Network is also working to promote best practise of native oyster conservation and to increase the cultural and environmental value of native oysters. The scientists within our network also know that to protect and restore native oysters, we need the support and help of local communities. Summary: The Native Oyster Bed Potential areas are derived from seabed sediment and current energy criteria. Workshop report NORA and UK-Ireland Native Oyster Network co-hosted a workshop on Biosecurity in Oyster Restoration at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh in January 2020. The native oyster has a rounded, rough shell with a pale green, yellow or brown colouring, and when mature are around 5-20 cm in length. The native oyster is characterised by slow growth rate and sporadic recruitment success, the number of oysters surviving to maturity can vary hugely from year to year, making it a particularly vulnerable species. The latest insights from ZSL's conservation team... Essex Native Oyster Restoration Initiative (ENORI), Kent & Essex Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority, The Tollesbury & Mersea Native Oyster Fishery Co Ltd. To join our Native Oyster Restoration Network and help us to restore Native Oysters in the UK and Ireland, please get in contact with us. The Native Olympia Oyster Collaborative (NOOC) is a coastwide network from Baja California to British Columbia to conserve and rebuild West Coast native oyster populations. Many thanks to Jake Davies, Stephane Pouvreau, Luke Helmer, David Smyth, Alice Lown and the Solent Oyster Restoration Project for providing images used on this page! In the UK wild native oyster populations have declined by over 95%. Bonamiosis – caused by the haplosporidian Bonamia ostreaea Marteilia refringens, American slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata American oyster drill Urosalpinx cinerea, Oyster drill Ocenebra erinacea Common shore crab Common whelk Buccinum Undatum. Recovery has been significantly impaired because of habitat loss, smothering, contamination by synthetic compounds (particularly tributyltin (TBT) antifouling paints), introduction of microbial pathogens/parasites, including the protist Bonamia. Olympia oysters can serve as locally relevant anchors for studying biology, ecology, climate change, math, social studies, and engineering. In recognition of their importance for ecosystem health, efforts are now being made to restore native oysters worldwide. Each project has several different stakeholders involved, including local fishermen, NGO’s , fisheries authorities, University researchers and students. Native oysters live on the seabed in relatively shallow coastal waters and estuaries (from the lower shore to 80m). ZSL is chair of the Essex Native Oyster Restoration Initiative (ENORI). The NORA Site Selection Working Group is seeking experts from the NORA network to participate in a project to identify and reach consensus on the factors most important in determining site selection for native oyster restoration projects in Europe. In the remaining 282km squared, we are using adaptive management measures for a sustainable wild oyster fishery protected under byelaw. Native oysters (as a species) and beds of the species (as a habitat) are both recognised as threatened and/or declining (T&D) under OSPAR (OSPAR, 2008). ZSL is working collaboratively to deliver and encourage the recovery of native oysters. Native Oyster Network - UK & Ireland. The European Native Oyster Habitat Restoration Handbook- UK and Ireland is a publication from the Native Oyster Network- UK and Ireland. Help us create a safer world for people and for wildlife. Through working with The Nature Conservancy, we are supporting the … Facilitating the restoration of the Native Oyster across UK and Ireland ENORI, a collaboration of oystermen, academia, government regulators and conservationists, aiming to restore native oysters to Essex estuaries. Species of principal importance for the purpose of conservation of biodiversity, Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. The species is considered to be under threat and/or in declinein the Greater North Sea (Region II), with native oyster beds under threat in … BLUE is creating a model for restoration of this key habitat by relaying millions of oysters into the Solent, the strait that separates the Isle of Wight from mainland England. Native oyster restoration seeks to reverse through human activity, the damage sustained by oyster reefs over the past few centuries. Native oyster reefs and beds (hereafter reefs) are formed when large numbers of living oysters and dead shells form an extensive biogenic habitat on the sea floor. Across Europe the native oyster is found from the Norwegian Sea to the Atlantic coast of Morocco, and in the Mediterranean basin. This decline makes native oyster reefs one of the most threatened marine habitats in Europe. Essex Native Oyster Restoration Initiative. It was established as part of a collaborative project to improve communication, coordination and information sharing among scientists and restoration practitioners. Oysters are filter feeders, they use their valves to pump water across hair like gill structures to filter out microscopic algae and small organic particles from the surrounding water, which serve as the oyster’s food. We have been instrumental in the establishment of the UK Native Oyster Network to share best practice and drive an ecosystem-wide recovery across Europe. Left undisturbed, oysters will form complex reef structures, which provides habitat and refuge for a diversity of organisms, such as juvenile fish, crabs, sea snails and sponges. Menu. The native or common oyster (Ostrea edulis) is a marine bivalve mollusc found in Scotland mainly on our west and north coasts.Its rough, irregularly shaped shell grows up to about 10cm across. In addition, we are creating a ‘Mother Oyster’ sanctuary where we are translocating mature oysters who will spawn and settle on the improved seabed substrate. Native Oyster Network - UK & Ireland. Further to this, we hope to develop volunteering and opportunities for the general public to become engaged with the network. The network aims to facilitate an ecologically coherent and collaborative approach to native oyster restoration across the UK and Ireland. Oyster reefs are globally imperilled, with an estimated 85% loss worldwide. At this meeting, experts aimed to agree on Guidelines for biosecurity in European oyster restoration projects. Native oyster fishing and cultivation have formed the heart of coastal communities in the UK and can be traced back to Roman-times. Facilitating the restoration of Native Oysters across the UK and Ireland. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. This positive activity, which sees native oysters and their habitat returned to waters where they are currently absent or have significantly declined, also carries with it … However, to effectively restore native oysters on a national scale collaboration between projects is key, which is where the Native Oyster Network comes in. Globally, an estimated 85% of oyster beds and oyster reef habitats have been lost, making them among the most imperilled marine habitats in the world. 208728.Principal Office England - Company Number RC000749 - Registered address Regent's Park, London, England NW1 4RY. We have established a voluntary no-take zone called the Blackwater Conservation Box. 145 likes. Native oysters have a fascinating life history trait, whereby an animal can alternate between male and female several times throughout its life, defining them as a protandrous hermaphrodite. NORA 3 Online was an action-packed event, featuring the launch of two new reports; The European Guidelines on Biosecurity in Native Oyster Restoration and the European Native Oyster Habitat Restoration Handbook- UK and Ireland, the launch of the NORA expert database and Native Oyster … The Native Oyster Network - UK and Ireland is a newly formed national network, that has been established in collaboration with ZSL and the University of Portsmouth. In Scotland, at the Dornoch Firth on the east coast, Glenmorangie Whisky is running the DEEP project and you can find more about this and other UK restoration projects by visiting the UK Native Oyster Network. The native oyster Ostrea edulis has an oval or pear-shaped shell with a rough, scaly surface. NATIVE OYSTER NETWORK. NORA 4 Conference 4 th – 6 th May 2021 Middelburg INFO In this 200 hectare area, we are restoring the native oyster beds and we are doing this by adding cultch- old shell and gravels - to the seabed. The collaboration comprises oysterman, environmental conservation groups, academia and government. The loss of native oysters has been so severe that natural replenishment of their native grounds is limited and is now unlikely to occur without our help. This allows juvenile oyster spat to settle and grow into mature oysters. The Native Oyster Network (UK & Ireland) Online Symposium is taking place via Zoom and live streamed onto YouTube on Monday 7th September, 10:00-13:00. The results of the latest workshop will underpin the Native Oyster Restoration Handbook, funded by the UK Environment Agency, and a stand-alone document on the Native Oyster Network and NORA website. The left valve is concave and fixed to the substratum, the right being flat and sitting inside the left. 335 likes. 186 likes. To do so, the network will facilitate effective communication and collaboration between the current native oyster restoration and research, and work to increase the awareness of the social and political worth of native oysters. Oyster reefs typically form on mixed substrate, in shallow waters less than 10 meters deep, although they have been found to depths of up to 80 meters. A new guide to help restore and protect native oysters and their habitat has been launched. Many of our scientists work alongside educators to help them bring cutting edge research to schools. Wild native oyster beds of Ostrea edulis are probably one of the most endangered marine habitats in Europe. News; Conferences. OSPAR List of Threatened and/or Declining Species and Habitats (Region II – Greater North Sea and Region III – Celtic Sea). Guidance and Limitations: The Native Oyster Bed Potential Area layer provides a national ‘high level’ indication of where native oyster reefs could potentially be restored based on some key environmental variables. 385 Followers, 90 Following, 21 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Native Oyster Network UK & IRE (@nativeoysternet) Populations in Europe faced collapse in the mid-20th century due to overfishing, pollution, disease and the introduction of invasive species. We have two approaches to deliver the conservation objectives.,,, Find out more about these initiatives below. Native oyster populations have declined by 95% in the UK since the mid 19th century and are now predominantly found in the south east; the Thames Estuary, the Solent and the River Fal. The aims of the workshop was to discuss and agree recommended biosecurity protocols relating to oyster restoration… The Native Oyster Network - UK and Ireland is a newly formed national network, that has been established in collaboration with ZSL and the University of Portsmouth. INTERNATIONAL.