Oysters have been a key part of the UK seafood culture for thousands of years, dating back to cultivation in Roman times. Historically, the species of importance was the native European Flat Oyster, but this species has suffered drastic declines and no longer represents a viable industry.
In the mid-20th Century, encouraged by government, the oyster industry turned to Rock Oysters, also known as Pacific Oysters. This species now makes up the bulk of UK oyster production, is farmed in every nation of the UK, and is widely cultivated across mainland Europe.
In 2021, after conversations with the Shellfish Association of Great Britain, we drew together a team of experts to capture the current and potential value of the Pacific Oyster to the UK, covering the ecological, economic, and societal benefit, as well as providing information on how neighbouring countries approach the cultivation and wild settlement of this species in their coastal waters of conservation importance.
The report, led by Martin Syvret of Aquafish Solutions, includes contributions from SAGB, JHC research, the New Economics Foundation, Atlantic Edge Oysters, and our Programme Manager, Dr Eleanor Adamson. Click here to read the report.