Restoration of European oyster (Ostrea edulis) stocks in the German North Sea

Project duration: 2016 – 2025

Within the framework of the testing and development project (german: “Erprobungs- und Entwicklungsvorhaben”, E+E project), funded by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), methods and procedures for sustainable stock restoration of the European oyster Ostrea edulis in the German North Sea are being developed for the first time, as well as implemented and tested in practice on a model basis. The RESTORE project is based on a feasibility study compiled by the BfN in 2014, which deals with the potential restoration of the European oyster. The results of the BfN’s feasibility study, are the base to develop a comprehensive restoration program aiming to reestablish, at selected sites of the German North Sea, healthy populations of the highly endangered oyster species, as well as the oyster reef ecosystem.

The E+E project is divided into three phases: The preliminary investigation (“Voruntersuchung”, duration 2016-2019) which has already been successfully completed, the main project, and the scientific monitoring (2019-2024), which are currently being carried out. The reintroduction of the once native oyster of the German North Sea, is considered a marine nature conservation measure, and is technically supervised by and carried out in cooperation with the Marine Nature Conservation Department of the BfN.

The projects are funded by the BfN with funds from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection.