The supply of native European oysters continues to be a bottleneck in expanding and scaling up restoration efforts. The NORA production working group have had a series of informative and open discussions to identify issues relating to the production and procurement of oysters for habitat restoration efforts. Through these discussions, a number of topics were clarified relating to the business models of both the restoration efforts and the oyster producers. Thanks to contributions from projects around Europe, the group were able to include the fact that around half a million native oysters have been released in habitat restoration efforts across Europe to date, but that number is set to grow to at least a million over the next two years alone. Given the ever-increasing interest and growth in native oyster habitat restoration across Europe, the group decided to summarise key information for both restoration practitioners and oyster producers into two information sheets; one titled “What restoration practitioners need to know about the oyster production industry” and one titled “What oyster producers need to know about oyster habitat restoration”. The information sheets are free to download and contain useful figures, such as developed timelines for production via different production methods, collated oyster growth rates across a range of geographies, and oyster survival in with differing starting sizes and culture techniques.
The aim of the information sheets is to foster a common understanding between producers and restoration practitioners of one another’s industries and therefore provide a basis for future conversations between new projects or producers starting up in the restoration field. The NORA production working group will continue to work together to develop a deeper common understanding and to overcome existing barriers, such as the lack of funding which matches the timeline of both oyster production and oyster restoration projects. If you are interested in participating, please contact the NORA Secretariat to be added to the working group mailing list.