Restoration and Conservation of the flat oyster in Nouvelle Aquitaine

Photo: Guillaume Ortega, CAPENA

REFONA project – Restoration and Conservation of the flat oyster in Nouvelle Aquitaine

In the context of Flat Oyster Restoration in France and in Europe and within the continuity of the previous flat oyster zootechnic project lead by CAPENA in Nouvelle Aquitaine (2016-2019), CAPENA has launched a new study focusing on the last wild flat oyster beds in Nouvelle Aquitaine. This work is realized in collaboration with the French Biodiversity Office (OFB), the Regional Marine Natural Parks (PNM EGMP and PNM BA) and Ifremer.

Started in 2021, the first phase of REFONA aim to inventory the remaining flat oyster beds in Nouvelle Aquitaine and bring a better knowledge of their vitality and dynamics. At this time, five areas were already identified (4 in the Pertuis Charentais and 1 in the Bassin d’Arcachon). Among these spots, two populations show a better vitality than the others with a density of 5 to 10 oysters/m2 and with occurrence of oyster aggregates. Preliminary zoosanitary analysis carried out in 2022 on these two beds indicate no infection by Marteilia refringens and Bonamia ostreae. Nevertheless, Bonamia exitiosa has been observed in some flat oysters in the Bassin d’Arcachon. Additional analysis will be done on larger samples to conclude on the pathological state of the different bed identified in REFONA. In 2023, REFONA will continue this inventory and better describe the associated habitat. Genetic variability of those beds will be also analyzed. All these results will serve in a second phase to understand the dynamics of the beds and to explore the ways to restore them.


  • The Nouvelle Aquitaine
  • The French Biodiversity Office (OFB) with the two Marine Natural Park of the state (PNM EGMP and PNM BA)

CAPENA surround itself with other scientific regional experts such as the LIENSs and EPOC laboratories and is piloted through a steering committee composed of the OFB, the two Marine Natural Park of the state, IFREMER, the state Nouvelle Aquitaine, the oyster farmers, the fishermen, the government (national marine department and marine department of Nouvelle Aquitaine) and the National Natural Reserve.

Flat Oyster ©Guillaume Ortega, CAPENA 
Les Pertuis Charentais ©Cynthia Carpentier, CAPENA


Cynthia Carpentier – CAPENA