The National Park Authority administers Sustainable Development Fund grants in Pembrokeshire. To read summary details of the projects supported by the fund, choose a project title from the list below.
Native Oyster Restoration Aquaculture Trail MRes
Tethys Oysters Ltd (Thethys) will work in collaboration with Swansea University to investigate a novel approach to developing a native oyster (Ostrea edulis) growing business in Pembrokeshire, using a “Restoration Aquaculture” model.
The native oyster is listed as a UK Biodiversity Action Plan species, and identified as one of the Habitats and Species of Principle importance to Wales. One of the reasons for the serious decline in species numbers is the parasitic disease Bonamia, which has seriously affected populations of native oysters causing mass mortalities in many historic oyster-producing areas, including the Milford Haven Waterway and Cleddau rivers.
In response to evidence that native oysters removed from their native seabed and raised into the water column may be healthier, less stressed, have reduced exposure risk to disease and hence increased survival rates, Tethys has recently developed an oyster basket design (ortec basket) specifically as a nursery and grow out habitat for native oysters. Testing in a growing commercial context is now required and this research project will provide empirical data to biologists and oyster aquaculture businesses on the growth and survival of native oysters in newly developed culture systems. It will also provide baseline data crucial for evaluating the effects of culturing native oysters on the surrounding biodiversity and potential for these oysters to populate the surrounding ecosystem (overspill). Evidence of overspill would have a restorative effect with regard to the wild population.
Tethys farm at Angle Bay will create jobs and produce high quality produce whilst also playing a key role in restoring the threatened native oyster population and associated ecosystem services.
Project Total Cost: £19,872.00
Grant Awarded: £4,800.00