Conservation of the native oyster <i>Ostrea edulis</i> in Scotland

TitleConservation of the native oyster Ostrea edulis in Scotland
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsUniversity Marine Biological Station Millport
Series TitleScottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report
Document Number251
InstitutionScottish Natural Heritage
Other NumbersROAME No. F02AA408

Native oyster (Ostrea edulis) populations in Scotland have declined significantly in abundance and distribution since the 19th century, mainly as a result of over-exploitation. Most of the remaining populations are thought to exist in west coast sea lochs. The native oyster is the subject of a UK Species Biodiversity Action Plan, the Native Oyster Species Action Plan (NOSAP), so there is a requirement to consider what conservation measures are appropriate.

This project aimed to develop advice on the conservation management of the native oyster in Scotland, based on an assessment of the current status of extant populations, reviews of the history of oyster exploitation in Scotland, and conservation and fisheries management practices in the UK and elsewhere. Sites throughout the west and north coasts of Scotland were surveyed for oysters and detailed population studies were carried out at three of these sites.