Oysters return to the Firth of Forth
Friday 06 November 2009
An "extinct" animal has been found alive and well in the Firth of Forth in Scotland. Oysters were thought to have died out in the area decades ago but specimens were found at a secret location.
Scientists have described the discovery as hugely significant and insisted it could lead to future commercial production. The Forth Oyster was previously thought to have died out due to over-fishing and water pollution in 1957.
The specimens were discovered by scientists from Stirling University. Dr Elizabeth Ashton of the University's Institute of Aquaculture stumbled across the creatures.
"I put my wellies on and my raincoat and was walking along the slippery stones by the water's edge many times and then out of the corner of my eye I saw what I thought could be an oyster and the tide was still going out so I had to wait a while, and yes, it was a specimen of a native oyster," she told the BBC.
"The Firth of Forth was once the major oyster fishery in Scotland and at its peak produced over 30 million oysters a year and they were exported all across Europe," added Dr Ashton.
Oyster farming is now centred on the country's south west coast but the discovery has raised hopes that farms could spring up in the Firth once again. A colleague, Dr Janet Brown, told the BBC: "We thought that [the oysters] had been overfished and it was pollution that had caused them to die out.
"Obviously some of them had survived and with improving water quality in the Forth there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to re-establish them."
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...