In France, the flat oyster was once a dominant species in most coastal ecosystems but is now confined to only a few localized sites, notably in Brittany. Moreover, these residual populations are subjected to growing threats that limit them still further, to the point that if no action is taken soon, the species and its habitats could completely disappear from these coasts. In that context, FOREVER, for Flat Oyster REcoVERy, is a three-year project (2018-2020, FEAMP Aquaculture Innovation call) to promote the reestablishment of flat oysters in Brittany. This multi-partner project is led by CRC Bretagne and involves CRC Bretagne Nord, IFREMER and ESITC Caen. It has just been selected as part of the 2017 FEAMP Aquaculture Innovation call for projects.
The project consists in 3 complementary actions.
The first action aims to inventory the main populations of wild flat oyster in Brittany and to describe their health and genetic characteristics.
The second action focuses on the ecology and the dynamics of the two remarkable beds still remaining in the bays of Brest and Quiberon.
The last action promotes restoration and management measures for these beds in partnership with local actors (fisheries and shellfish farming bodies, regional authorities, environmental management organizations such as Natura 2000).
One major goal of this last action is also to develop dedicated settlement structures made of calcareous concrete (e.g. shellfish by-products) that are suited to flat oyster recruitment and growth, easy to use, and on which colonization can be easily evaluated.
Taking together, the 3 actions aim to protect the remnant wild populations and perpetuate the farming activities of this endemic heritage species while ensuring its long-term role in the marine biodiversity of the Brittany coasts.
More infos on the project here:
CRC Bretagne Sud: Sonia Gachelin
Ifremer : Stéphane Pouvreau