The Priority Marine Feature (PMF) list contains 81 habitats and species considered to be of conservation importance in Scotland's seas. It includes many features which are characteristic of the Scottish marine environment, ranging from flame shell beds in coastal waters, to cold-water coral reefs of the deeper seas, and mobile species such as minke whale and basking shark.
The native or common oyster (Ostrea edulis) is a marine bivalve mollusc found in Scotland mainly on our west and north coasts. Its rough, irregularly shaped shell grows up to about 10cm across.
Native oysters live on the seabed in relatively shallow coastal waters and estuaries (from the lower shore to 80m). They prefer habitats sheltered from strong wave action, which tend to be muddy. Oysters also require shells, stones or another hard surface for larval settlement.