Shellfish Populations

There was once a thriving oyster industry in Chichester Harbour, but now the native oyster has declined to very small numbers and cannot currently be harvested. The reason for their decline can be contributed to a wide range of different factors.

This focus area will seek to increase our understanding as to why the native oyster populations have declined so dramatically, develop initiatives that help to reduce these pressures and explore potential active restoration methods to restore native oyster populations to self-sustaining levels again.

Our ambition is to also increase monitoring of other shellfish within the Harbour including cockles and clams, to gather evidence regarding the health, size and population numbers of these species. Through regular monitoring we will be able to identify trends in other shellfish which are an important food source for many wading birds.