DUBLIN BAY OYSTER RESEEDING PROJECT
Up until the early 1800’s Dublin Bay hosted naturally occurring oyster reefs which were harvested by hand and boat in the Clontarf, North Bull areas of the bay. These reefs were so abundant that the oysters were sold as ‘fast food’ by street sellers to many Dubliners in the capital. However, the popularity of the Irish oyster led to their downfall as the oyster reefs were overexploited leading to a permanent demise of the Dublin Bay Oyster. Until now….
Dublin Bay Oyster Reseeding Project
Our Oyster reseeding project is an ambitious project to start the process of developing a brood stock of the European Flat Oyster (otherwise known as the Native Irish Oyster) using a technique known as oyster gardening. We are sourcing wild Irish oysters from Tralee Bay and placing these in specialised marine boxes that allow the oysters to filter feed. These boxes are suspended in 1 – 2 meters from floating walkways in harbours and marinas around Dublin Bay.
Each oyster garden will house 10 or so mature oysters to allow them to adjust to their new environment in the way that maximises health and their ability to spawn / fertilise. Each healthy female oyster releases up to 1.5m eggs into the water each July / August. As fertilisation occurs, the fertilised larvae settle on hard surfaces or substrate (harbour walls, other oysters, rocks etc) and grow from spat to juvenile to mature oyster over a 3 year period with an expected life of 20 years.
Each oyster filters approximately 190 litres of sea water per day feeding on nutrients, algae and phytoplankton from the water column, this process improves water clarity allowing sunlight to penetrate the seafloor which encourages the recovery of seagrass and seaweed beds. Seagrass and seaweeds provide an ideal nursery environment for fish to spawn and develop. Seagrass is also a powerful carbon sink as it sequesters atmospheric carbon dioxide at a rate of 35 times faster than the rainforest.
As time progresses (10 – 20 years) the oysters spread and form clumps which develop into reefs. These reefs help to stablise the seafloor providing a natural barrier against storm surge which protects seaweed and seagrass beds and the coast from erosion.
The oyster is a keystone species in providing a nature based solution to against the risk of climate change and we need your help in expanding the impact of this project.
The sales of our Green Ocean Kish blend are funding this really important work so if you would like to book a tasting for your office or café then please get in touch.