Cornish Native 'Fal Oyster' (Ostrea Edulis)
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Cornish Native Oysters or 'Fal Oysters' are wild native oysters found on the sea and river bed of the Fal Estuary and are famed for their distinctive sweet, fresh and delicate flavour.
Objective One Fisheries programme manager, Clare Leverton said, "Fal Oysters really are an exceptional product, distinctive to the region and of a very high quality. The fishing methods couldn't be more sustainable”
Perhaps the most sustainable fishery in the world is the Fal River oyster fishery (officially known as the Fal Fishery), the last oyster fishery in Europe harvested under sail by Europe’s last commercial sailing fleet. Here on the River Fal 'Fal Oysters' (oystera edulis) have been harvested in more or less the same, highly sustainable, fashion, without the use of mechanical power, for more than 500 years.
This is a natural and wild fishery where the oysters are not cultured or bred. There is a small amount of husbandry of the wild and natural beds as during the process of fishing the substrate (cultch) is moved by the dredge which keeps the fishery in good heart, and also occasional extra dredging of the beds without harvesting (described as harrowing) further improves the oyster beds and encourages a good spatfall (young oysters to settle).
The oyster season starts on the 1st October and closes on the 31st March, the working hours are 0900hrs to 1500hrs Monday to Friday and 0900hrs to 1300hrs on Saturday. The oysters are wild and propagate naturally, consequently the stock size fluctuates form season to season and in order to prevent over-fishing a minimum size of 67mm is imposed and the Carrick Council oyster bailiff is responsible for policing it. All dredgermen must be licensed.
Extract from HVMCA newsletter No.30 Spring 2005
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