In late April, we took a peek at our pilot project native oysters growing in a gabion cage on the seabed off Eilean Buidhe to see how they fared over the winter.
They’ve grown a lot! We counted 326 alive with a 20% mortality rate - normal for young native oysters which are notoriously vulnerable in early life. There were lots of other species too - butterfish, scorpion fish, squat lobsters, starfish and baby crabs. In the close-up (picture below), you’ll see oyster spat growing on the shells. John Hamilton, our oyster guru, identified these as saddle oysters which grow up to 60mm. They happily co-exist with natives in the wild and are a sign of a healthy ecosystem.