The wonderful work of the Solent Oyster Restoration Project continues apace with the installation of 4,500 oysters at MDL’s Mercury Yacht Harbour, Ocean Village and Shamrock Quay.
MDL is a proud partner of the scheme, with aims to reseed the Solent’s decimated oyster population. 10,000 oysters have taken already taken up residence at Hamble Point, Port Hamble, Sparkes and Saxon since the project began, suspended beneath the pontoons in cages specially designed by students from the University of Portsmouth. Early findings show they are already improving water quality and biodiversity.
The ambitious project, headed up by the Blue Marine Foundation, aims to reintroduce five million oysters to the Solent within five years. The new additions at Mercury, Ocean Village and Shamrock Quay bring the total to 14,500.
Jacob Kean-Hammerson, BLUE Project Coordinator, commented “BLUE is delighted to see this programme rolling out across the Solent with MDL Marinas. The innovative system has provided oysters a safe home to thrive and breed reseeding wild populations and an accessible platform for research and outreach with local schools and communities in the Solent.”
The European flat oyster, or native oyster, is an impressive animal and provides many benefits to the ecosystem. Capable of filtering 200 litres of water a day, the oysters help keep inshore waters clear and more productive and support many species of marine flora and fauna through the habitat they provide. Sadly, the UK population has halved over the last 25 years, while globally an estimated 85% of oyster beds and reef habitats have been lost.
The Solent Oyster Restoration Project is one of the many green initiatives that MDL Marinas is involved with as part of our commitment to securing a healthy marine environment for everyone to enjoy.
“Helping to restore the native oyster population, an important part of the local ecosystem which removes pollutants and provides habitats, is one of many ways that the boating community can give back to the ocean and improve the local waters around us for our future enjoyment.” Dean Smith, Commercial Director of MDL Marinas.