Ten priority questions for increasing the consistency and success in hatchery production of the European flat oyster for habitat restoration

Philine S. E. zu Ermgassen, Joanne Preston, Monica Fabra, Kruno Bonacic, Bérenger Colsoul, Shelagh K. Malham, Bernadette Pogoda, Hein Sas, Pauline Kamermans

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The European flat oyster, Ostrea edulis, once formed extensive reef habitats throughout European seas and estuaries. These reefs are now largely functionally extinct, yet interest and support for their restoration is rapidly growing. A major bottleneck to scaling up oyster reef restoration is the lack of available oysters to supply the growing demand. In this study, experts from nine hatcheries across eight countries in Europe collaboratively discussed 98 submitted questions to identify the ten questions which, if answered, would increase the consistency and success in hatchery production of O. edulis for habitat restoration. Questions were grouped into the following themes: conditioning and feeding, larval rearing, disease and water quality, hatchery protocol, genetics, and hatchery management. There were several overarching topics spanning these themes, including diet optimisation, maximising the effective population size, and developing the technical skillbase in order to increase hatchery production to meet the projected increase in demand for oyster seed for habitat restoration efforts. We anticipate this list will provide a starting point for collaborative research efforts across Europe, as well as assisting policy makers and funders in identifying key knowledge gaps.
Original languageEnglish
Article number29
Number of pages10
JournalAquatic Living Resources
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2023


  • Ostrea edulis
  • aquaculture
  • larvae
  • ecological restoration
  • bivalve
  • marine

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