Oyster farming is a very environmentally friendly industry. Oysters grow by filtering the seawater and no feeds or medications of any type are used. A recent environmental audit showed oyster farming actually reduces the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. The oysters ‘lock’ carbon into their shells and this amount of carbon is significantly greater than the amount of carbon released by the other processes (driving tractors, operating machinery etc.) involved in oyster farming.
The presence of oysters seems to have actually encouraged many bird species, not least of course the oystercatcher! There are significant winter populations of Brent Geese, and Herons and Little Egrets particularly like ‘hanging out’ around the oyster trestles. There are several species of waders and shoreline birds – the golden plover and bar-tailed godwit are protected here by an SPA (Special Protection Area) – and during very harsh weather many of the small waders visit the yards of the oyster factories to scavenge for any morsels that might escape from the oyster bags.