The European flat oyster, Ostrea edulis, is an important species both for commercial purposes (aquaculture and fisheries) and from an ecological perspective. Both aquaculture of the species and restoration efforts, are, however, hampered by limited access to spat. Consequently, there is a need to develop alternative production methods for oyster spat, and a promising technique is pond based production. However, much of the knowledge related to spatting ponds is industry know-how only and there are no formal protocols that may enable initiation of more pond production of flat oysters.
In a project lead by Bohus havsbruk in collaboration with IVL, information from literature reviews and study visits to existing spatting ponds were used to compile a first draft for such a protocol. Due to a high exploitation pressure on the coastal areas along the Swedish west coast, access to land for pond construction is limited, especially in areas with suitable water quality, why we also developed a virtual prototype of a sea based pond system for spat production in the project. Consequently, the protocol is developed for Scandinavian conditions and is adapted to this sea based construction, but we believe that it may also be relevant for land based spatting ponds. The protocol includes a summary of the specific activities that should be performed, a schedule for when each activity should be initiated, important considerations, information on how to perform the activities and describes maintenance routines.
We are now looking for industry partners that may be interested in helping us evaluate the robustness of the protocol with the aim of adjusting the protocol based on the experiences made during evaluation. We were hoping to evaluate the protocol already summer 2020 and would be very happy if anyone believes this to be feasible, but a more realistic plan may perhaps be summer 2021. If this sounds interesting, if you have plans of producing flat oysters in ponds or if you have any questions, please contact Åsa Strand (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.