Isle of Wight’s first Oyster Regeneration Project

UKSA has announced it is creating the Isle of Wight’s first Oyster Regeneration Project in partnership with the Blue Marine Foundation. The aim is to aid the restoration with breeding and growing of oysters in high densities, hung in baskets in the water beneath UKSA’s pontoons. This will facilitate the release of millions of larvae into the Solent. Between 1972 and 2006, the Solent supported the largest native oyster fishery in Europe, however the oyster population has declined significantly and the fishery collapsed in 2013. Native oyster reefs in the UK have declined by 95% due to overfishing, pollution, disease, habitat loss and other pressures. Native oysters are classified as a priority species in the UK’s Biodiversity Action Plan and restoration is a high priority at a national, European and global level with an estimated 85% percent of oyster beds and reef habitats lost worldwide.