Scaling-up European Oyster Reef Restoration
November 2023
Photo Matthias Huber, Ifremer

NORA 5 Conference 
6th – 8th November 2023
Middelburg, The Netherlands


Monday November 6th, 2023

9:00Student Session
12:00Lunch / Registration
13:00Opening and Welcome
(tbc) Christianne van der Wal-Zeggelink, (demissionary) Minister for Nature and Nitrogen Policy of the Netherlands
14:00Update on NORA activities
14:30Speed Poster Session
10 posters to be presented in a one-minute pitch presentation
Results of restoration pilots and scaling-up methods Part 1

Olie and Van Onselen
Intermediate results of the offshore wind farm oyster restoration projects Blauwwind, Luchterduinen and Gemini ZeeEnergie in the Dutch North Sea Offshore wind toolbox

Boze Hancock
Demonstration of remote setting in the Ostrea genus and its use in scaling restoration

Questions / Discussion

15:40Coffee Break
Results of restoration pilots and scaling-up methods Part 2

Monitoring of wild native oyster spat settlement using king scallop shell in Galway Bay, Ireland

Luke Helmer
From research to reefs, the reality of challenges facing practitioners and researchers scaling up oyster restoration efforts in the UK

Voordelta: field deployment and lessons for scaling up

Stéphane Pouvreau
REstoring European Flat Oyster Reefs & their Ecosystem Services on the French coasT : First results of the REEFOREST project

Céline Gamble
The Wild Oysters Project: Early monitoring results and future scale-up

Panel discussion
All speakers from session part 1 and part 2

17:50Poster Session
(Ticketed Event)

Tuesday November 7th, 2023

9:10Historical ecology and site selection

Ruth Thurstan
The world was our oyster: Historical records reveal the vast extent of past European flat oyster reef ecosystems

Site selection for native oyster (Ostrea edulis) reintroduction in an extinct oyster bed using multicriteria analysis and reference sites

Brecht Stechele
An aquaculture-restoration network analysis for flat oyster recovery in the North Sea and The English ChannelHatchery production of Bonamia-free and -resistant flat oysters (Ostrea edulis L.)

Historic Gaelic place-names – markers for present oyster habitat?

David Smyth
Remote and limited access; criterion worth considering in site selection for native oyster restoration

Lara Schmittmann
Quantifying the risk of disease dispersal to European flat oyster restoration sites by ocean modelling

Panel Questions and Discussion

10:45Philine zu Ermgassen
Applying the IUCN Ecosystem Red Listing Criteria to the European oyster reef ecosystem and policy implications
11:05Coffee Break

Thiviya Nair
Exploring Environmental DNA (eDNA) as a Tool for Detection and Monitoring of Bonamia ostreae in European Flat Oysters (Ostrea edulis)

Evaluating the potential of eDNA-based approach to monitor flat oyster parasites

Investigating emerging eDNA methodology Investigating emerging environmental DNA methodology for the detection of Bonamia ostreas in stress in (Ostrea edulis) populations

Panel discussion to harmonize views on eDNA-potential of (Ostrea edulis) biosecurity


Araujo Piñeiro / Colsoul
Helgoland-Oyster-Hatchery: An overview of achievements and implications for future solutions

Flat oyster broodstock cleaning treatments effect on bacteria levels and larvae production in hatchery

The restoration of Ostrea edulis in the Mediterranean Sea: Recent progress in Sardinia

Questions / Discussion

Hatchery production of flat oyster (Ostrea edulis) for Dutch restoration projects

Pauline Kamermans
Alternative scour protection materials can enhance flat oyster (Ostrea edulis) settlement

Matthew Johnston / Overwetter
Utilising genetics in production (TORC) / Utilising genetics to unlock the conservation efforts of Native flat oysters at The Oyster Restoration Company


15:00Coffee Break

Pierre Boudry / Fiz da Costa
When does genetics matter for production of native European oyster (Ostrea edulis) seed and restoration of populations?

Sophie Valk
Towards non-invasive quantification of genetic diversity of flat oyster populations

Chloé Robert
Population structure of the historically preserved Scandinavian flat oyster populations

Genetic characterization of Ostrea edulis populations to assist choices in flat oyster restoration in the North Sea


16:30Short Break
16:40Monitoring Methods
Chair: Boze Hancock

Joanne Preston
Assessing oyster habitat restoration across Europe through shared metrics – progress, ambition and purpose of the NORA monitoring working group

Assessing fish populations using both historic and contemporary monitoring methods at restored native oyster reefs in the Solent

Assessing species richness and status of European flat oyster beds through analysis of soundscapes, eDNA and visual surveys

From Sea to (Data)Table: Trials & Tribulations of Monitoring Data Collection

Karin Didderen
Conservation of an European oyster reef: Understanding ecosystem and oyster dynamics to inform future strategies for protection


18:00Ideas / New Projects Session
5minutes pitch presentations
19:30The Rich North Sea Toolbox Session
Limited to 50 people. Sign up end of day 1.

Wednesday November 8th, 2023

9:10Ecosystem services

Restoring ecosystem services: The impact of native oyster reefs on biodiversity in the Solent

Naomi Kennon
Oyster reef biodiversity enhancement: an ecosystem engineering perspective

Michela Iodio
Oysters in the light: the biodiversity of associated seaweed communities

Camilla Bertolini
MAREA: Matchmaking restoration, ecology and aquaculture

Oysters and shellfish in Scottish Gaelic songs, stories and sayings

Questions / Panel Discussion

10:30Coffee Break
11:00Stakeholder involvement

Nik Sachlikidis
Saving Our Oyster Reefs: A Science Meets Impact Investor-Based Approach to Commercial Restorative Aquaculture

Bernadette Pogoda
Offshore oyster restoration in mitigation scenarios: The happy stakeholder?

The evolving seascape for native oyster restoration in Scottish waters

Karel van de Wijngaard
Seawilding Practitioner Track: Towards engagement and ambitious action in regenerating North Sea nature

Questions / Panel Discussion

12:10Closing Session
TBD who will speak. Impression of the content and impression of the atmosphere.
12:30 Break
Registration required.

NORA 5 Partners