ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

We are a long established company being registered in 1876, whose commercial interest is directly linked to the nurture, cultivation and harvesting of Native Oysters (Ostrea edulis)

 

To achieve these objectives involves the care and maintenance of the seabed and adjacent water quality to ensure the natural habitat is sustained in a condition suitable for Native Oysters. As a key environmental marker species, if Native Oysters are healthy it is indicative that the adjacent natural habitat can maximize biomass and biodiversity for other estuary species.

Our main negative impacts are carbon emissions and air pollution from diesel engines from the marine craft used by the oystermen in the cultivation process and potential detrimental damage to the seabed from oyster dredges.

savemerseaharbour.org

www.zsl.org/conservation/regions/uk-europe/thames-conservation/native-oyster-restoration

In order to minimize these impacts we specifically:

  • Undertake pre-surveys of the estuary bed to ensure that the oystermen do not carry out unnecessary and unproductive operations.
  • All oystermen use GPS satellite tracking of the areas they have operated on.
  • We have developed a non toothed, minimal seabed intervention dredge that allows other native sea bed species to be immediately deposited on the same ground that they may have been disturbed from.
  • Remove non native detrimental species (Gigas, American Tingle, Slipper Limpet) from the natural environment as appropriate.
  • Of the 1266 hectares that we lease under a Several Order from the Crown Estates we allow 546 hectares (43%) to remain undisturbed.
  • Have undertaken an ongoing partnership with the Essex Wildlife Trust to ensure independent and impartial environmental monitoring.
  • Lobby strongly to Anglian Water and the Environment Agency to maintain good water quality.
  • Work closely with environmental Government regulators (Natural England, IFCA, MMO) in providing data as required or requested.
  • Raise awareness of the need for action if required to coastal users and regulators (see attached leaflet).
  • Build our principles of production and consumption of Native Oysters into our customers and trading operation.
  • Track our performance.