15 Feb Milford Haven Native Oyster Regeneration Project – Stage One

Milford Haven Native Oyster Regeneration Project – Stage One (current status and practicalities)

Funding has been secured from NRW’s Competitive Grant for a project manager and science advisor, with equipment, boat and fisherman time provided by WWSFA Ltd.

Project start date: 1st June 2016

Project end date: 30th June 2017

The project will have a steering group made up of relevant local interests and managers including Welsh Government and NRW.

The project aims are to:

1. Gather evidence needed to support a local native oyster regeneration programme including:

  • A current assessment of stocks (numbers, density, class sizes) in known key locations;
  • Presence/absence of spat;
  • Cultch availability;
  • Identification of suitable areas for seed oysters and replenishing cultch with the aim of ensuring that the species can sustain itself in the long term;
  • Noting any key threats to native oysters, including INNS such as slipper limpets, American sting winkles and parasitic Bonamia sp;

2. Produce information that can be used to inform:

  • a native oyster regeneration project plan of action for the Milford Haven Waterway;
  • a native oyster local biodiversity action plan (in partnership);
  • management of the Pembrokeshire Marine SAC.

This project builds upon work done to date in the area (Woolmer 2011, Pell 2011) and is part of a larger long-term project which aims to restore native oysters within the Milford Haven Waterway to the extent that sustainable commercial harvesting hopefully becomes viable; returning an oyster fishery to the Waterway once again.

Field work methodology is yet to be confirmed as it is largely reliant on available funds and permissions from Welsh Government.

Outputs will include:
A specific detailed science report with current data acquired from the investigative work.

A “blue print” for a native oyster regeneration project.

Improved knowledge of the estuaries SAC feature.

Information to support an application to EMFF for stage 2 of the Milford Haven native oyster regeneration project.

Further information from:
Stephen DeWaine wwsfa@hotmail.co.uk
Sue Burton sacofficer@pembrokeshiremarinesac.org.uk