UK, South Coast: Cleaner Waters with Oysters in the Solent

A plan to reintroduce one million oysters to the Solent is on track, part of attempts to clean up the waters.

Published 7 years ago, updated 6 years ago

Ben Fogle meets with representatives from the BLUE Foundation, MDL Marinas and the University of Plymouth – copyright Boating Business

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The project is being run by the Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) in partnership with MDL Marinas, Land Rover BAR and the University of Portsmouth using oysters in cages suspended under the pontoons of MDL’s marinas.

It is supported by broadcaster Ben Fogle and a team of volunteers.

“The humble oyster is an incredibly powerful ecosystem engineer, capable of filtering 200 litres of water a day and supporting marine life,” explained Mr Fogle. “Restoring the native oyster to the Solent would be another step closer to turning the tide against the large-scale degradation of our oceans and giving something back to the UK’s inshore waters which provide us with so many benefits.”

The first cages have been lowered from the pontoons of Hamble Point, Port Hamble, Sparkes and Saxon Wharf marinas as well as the pontoons at Portsmouth University and the pontoon that MDL Marinas installed at Land Rover BAR HQ.

Dean Smith, MDL Marinas commercial director added: “Helping to restore the native oyster population, an important part of the local ecosystem which removes pollutants and provides habitats, is one of many ways that the boating community can give back to the ocean and improve the local waters around us for our future enjoyment.”

The project is a continuation of one started last year that showed the technique of suspending cages of oysters under floating pontoons can result in healthy reproduction and low mortality.

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