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2019 Summer Exhibition - ENORI display board.
Audio Guide text:
The Essex Native Oyster Restoration Initiative is a collaboration of oystermen, environmental conservation groups, academia and government regulators, working hard to bring native oysters back to Essex in a big way!
This part of the coast is designated a Marine Conservation Zone, as can be seen on the map on the board. These Zones are marine areas designated to protect a range of nationally important, rare or threatened species and habitats. Within the Zone, the Restoration Initiative is working in a 2Km square of the Blackwater off Mersea Island, to build an area where native oysters will breed and grow and become self-sustaining.
The Restoration Initiative is working with the traditional Native Oyster Ostrea edulis The waters in this area also have a large population of another oyster, the Gigas oyster.
The Native Oyster is the one cherished by the connoisseur. Smaller than the Gigas, slower growing, with a more refined flavour. The Native likes to be below the normal low tide mark.
The Gigas, Japanese, or Pacific Rock oyster is not a native species and was introduced in the 1980s after much of the local oyster population had been wiped out. It thrives in these waters and has become very popular. The Gigas likes the intertidal zone - between the normal high and low water marks.
Date: 1 May 2019
Photo: Mersea Museum
Image ID DIS2019_ENO_001
This image is part of the Mersea Museum Collection.