SELECTIVE BREEDING OF THE EUROPEAN NATIVE OYSTER (Ostrea edulis), USING PONDS IN ROSSMORE, IRELAND, AND MAGAGEMENT OF THE LOCH RYAN OYSTER FISHERY, SCOTLAND
1Loch Ryan Oyster Fishery Company Ltd. C/o Penberth, St. Buryan, Penzance, Cornwall, England, TR19 6HJ
Key words: Ostrea edulis, Rossmore, Bonamia, ponds, resistance, Loch Ryan
Stocks of the European flat oyster (Ostrea edulis) have been severely reduced all over Europe due to the spread of the disease Bonamia ostreae. The disease killed 13 million oysters in Cork Harbour in 1987, removing 99% of the stock. The last 1% survived, and this was used to breed another generation of oysters. Most of these also perished, but with each generation, the survival rates improved. The oysters are bred in ponds, which encourages the oysters to breed, with elevated temperatures, and contained water so the larvae are unable to escape. Survival rates improved generation after generation, and by 2003 over 100 tonnes of oysters were harvested and sold. The Loch Ryan wild native oyster fishery in south west Scotland has been producing oysters for over 300 years and has had a history of boom and bust. Since 1996, in partnership with the Wallace family, the beds are now slowly being restored.