Support our Nation today - please donate here

Wild oysters to be reintroduced to Conwy’s estuary and harbour

12 Jul 2023 2 minute read
Photo by Jasper180969 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Richard Evans, local democracy reporter

Wild oysters will be reintroduced to Conwy’s estuary and harbour in a project headed by Bangor University and the Zoological Society of London, working with Conwy Council.

A 660-tonne stone reef has been laid in the harbour which will be covered by crushed mollusc shells.

Then around 1,200 native oysters will be introduced in the hope they will once again naturally spawn in Conwy’s harbour and estuary.

Conwy harbour master Matthew Forbes told the council’s harbour committee: “The Wild Oyster Project has been four years in the making”.

“It is basically run by the Zoological Society of London, Bangor University, and some other stakeholders, and the idea really is to lay an artificial reef in the Conwy Bay with the idea of re-seeding the Conwy Estuary in the Conwy Harbour with native oysters, which were here hundreds of years ago.

“So we (the council) were sub-contracted to help with the bagging and loading operation. It was a lot more difficult and involved than we thought, but we got it done, so the reef is now being laid, and the next stage is to lay the shell which is crushed shellfish shells on top of the reef which will produce the oysters in mid-July. It is an exciting project.”


The harbour master explained the oysters are currently at the Deganwy Marina in a nursery.

Bangor University and The Zoological Society of London were awarded £249,919 for the project.

Funding was sourced through the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of the Nature Networks Fund on behalf of Welsh Government and in partnership with Natural Resources Wales.

The two-year project will see European native oysters reintroduced at Liverpool Bay, Menai Strait, and Conwy Bay.

Oysters help to keep seas clean and to provide a habitat for marine life.

Native oyster beds were present in Conwy’s waters during the 1700 and 1800s and were once an important food source.

But only a few Welsh oyster populations remain, meaning, without intervention, the species is under threat of extinction.

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.