The newly formed Irish Native Oyster Fisheries Forum, funded under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, restores native oyster populations.
Patricia Daly, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, said the forum has been set up to better influence policies that may affect such stocks in Ireland.
“Native oyster fisheries remain of high environmental and socio-economic importance to fishing communities in Ireland. This forum is helping native oyster co-ops and development to have their voice heard,” she said.
Forum members visited Tralee Oyster Fisheries Society in Fenit, Co Kerry, in April. to see the results of the organisation’s stock enhancement programme.
Earlier this year, the society, under the management of Denis O’Shea, invested in a purpose-built barge to deploy coupelles or spat collectors in large frames during summer months.
Native oyster juveniles are then stripped from the collectors and held in a designated nursery area, until they are big enough to resist predation when restocked into the fishery.
Members of Tralee Oyster Fisheries Society visited France last year to learn the techniques of spat collection.