- On 26th January 2021
- In Ecology, Engineering, Research and Development
- By David
Earlier this year in October, Exo Environmental alongside our partners; University of Essex, Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners and Richard Haward’s Oysters, conducted a pre-winter check of our innovative native flat oyster spatting discs.
As you may remember from reading our previous blog on the SIF project (https://exo-env.co.uk/flat-oyster-spat-collectors-update/) , our discs were developed from dredged material, using GeoBlock TechnologyTM (https://exo-env.co.uk/geoblock/), with imprinted surface textures to encourage bio-colonisation.
Take a look at our video below, where Izaak explains more about the project and SIF.
Back in July this year the discs were deployed at 3 locations within Brightlingsea Harbour, in Essex. This was the exact timing to coincide with native oyster spatting in 2020. Following approximately 2.5 months, the discs were pulled out of the water and analysed by our partners from the University of Essex, to record the spatting rate as well as the overall biodiversity supported by our discs.
Initial results are promising, with Native oyster spat observed, alongside other amazing marine species such as Sea Slugs, Star Ascidian, Sea Squirts and Coralline Algae amongst a host of gastropods, amphipods, isopods and polychaeta!
This data will help us determine the success of our discs when compared to traditional plastic spat collectors and give a quantitative measure of winter mortality rate when we conduct our next monitoring in spring next year.
With this study, it is Exo’s aim to implement GeoBlock TechnologyTM in oyster fisheries across the UK, to help re-vitalise the flat oyster and increase sustainable of the wider fishing industry.