As a continuation of the FOREVER** project, the REEFOREST project (2022-2026) aims to consolidate, improve and finalise the restoration methodology and to progressively implement the very first pilot restoration operations for the species on various NATURA 2000 sites in France that are well documented for the species, relevant for the MARHA life program and that could be used in the future for other sectors of the French coast. The main test site of the REEFOREST project is located in the bay of Brest on the former oyster bed called “Le Roz”, and the first application and validation site is located in Quiberon Bay on the former oyster bed called “Penthièvre”.
The priority measure essential to this return is the implementation of biomimetic supports on the bottom that are favourable to the species, making it possible to create a restoration ´kickstarter´ that serves as an aggregation nucleus for young recruits. In the long term, the re-establishment of significant populations of flat oysters should allow a gradual return of the associated ecosystem services with potential benefits for other marine species of interest present but in decline in the targeted sectors.
The REEFOREST project is led by Ifremer & OFB (French Office for Biodiversity) in collaboration with Natura 2000 managers and professionals from the shellfish industry and the fishing industry. On a technical level, in order to successfully develop the most suitable and innovative primer for the restoration of the species, the project calls on various specialists in ecological materials in the marine environment (e.g. SEABOOST, ESITC, BESE-elements, CorailArtefact…). This pioneering work in France is also supported by environmental associations and initiatives committed to ocean preservation and ecological restoration.
** Pouvreau S, Cochet H, Fabien A, Arzul I, Lapegue S, Gachelin S, Salaun B (2021). Inventaire, diagnostic écologique et restauration des principaux bancs d’huîtres plates en Bretagne : le projet FOREVER. Rapport final. Contrat FEAMP 17/2215675. https://doi.org/10.13155/79506
More infos on the project here:
Stéphane Pouvreau – Ifremer/LEMAR