High Quality Oysters Could Be Farmed In Scilly, Says IFCA

sea and rocksScilly could become a producer of high quality, year-round oysters.

That’s one of the ideas being discussed by the islands’ Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority.

They’ve been approached by Defra’s Cefas group, which looks at ways of developing marine farming opportunities in the UK.

And they believe the islands could be perfect for producing some high-end food for export to the mainland.

Fisheries Officer Doug Holt says Cefas representatives visited Scilly earlier in the year and suggested that oysters would grow well in our waters.

Doug says they could be produced in small quantities, with the emphasis on quality, and a ready market in London’s restaurants.

The shellfish, which aren’t a native species in Scilly, would be grown in bags. That ensures ownership if they’re on the seabed.

And he says if any escaped, the constant cool temperature of the water here would stop them from breeding.

Cefas identified other opportunities here too. They noticed that some of the seaweed on our shores are high quality species that fetch top prices in trendy delicatessens.

And there’s a chance to work with the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow.

Earlier this year, thousands of tiny juvenile shellfish were released into the water around Scilly.

But they could be grown to a larger size here, giving them a better chance of survival after they’re let go.

Doug says it could be a good way to diversify our economy and provide year-round fishing opportunities.

If anyone wants to discuss a business idea, they should contact the IFCA who can point them in the right direction.

There would still be hurdles to overcome, like getting permits from the Marine Management Organisation, Crown Estates and Natural England, but he says it just needs someone to take up the idea.

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