Native oyster restoration in Europe: Background, progress, and best practice

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Bernadette Pogoda

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Oysters provide a multitude of ecosystem services: they are primary reef-builders and increase biodiversity. Today, temperate biogenic reefs are among the most threatened habitats globally, as much of the continental shelf and coastal waters have been homogenized by bottom trawling and dredging. In Europe the native oyster, Ostrea edulis, is an endangered species and functionally extinct in several ecoregions. Reintroduction and restoration of this ecological key-player in European seas contributes to nature conservation objectives such as the OSPAR Convention on Protection of the Seas, the EU Flora–Fauna–Habitat Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. In general, several constraints to restoration have to be considered, e.g., lack of broodstock; degraded habitats, which are probably less suitable for recruitment; diseases and biosecurity; as well as the potential lack of suitable, protected restoration sites. The presentation will provide an update on the background and progress of oyster restoration in Europe, focusing on: best practice as formulated by the Native Oyster Restoration Alliance (NORA) in the Berlin Oyster Recommendation restoration in sublittoral offshore waters by presenting a case study in the German Bight: Applied methods, experimental set-up and key findings site selection with regard to ecological history, environmental conditions and feasibility of restoration The presentation will point out major developments, challenges, limitations, and perspectives.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Society for Ecological Restoration