The Firth of Clyde is located on the West Coast of Scotland. The Clyde sea area is 4000km2 in size and encompasses many islands, sea lochs, peninsulas, and estuaries, including Arran and the Cumbrae Islands. The Clyde contains a suite of designations including three MPAs, a National Park, SPAs, SACs, Ramsar sites and a handful of marine SSSIs.
Remnant populations, patches and solitary native oysters can still be found in the Clyde Sea Area. The Clyde has been heavily impacted by various fisheries with continued dredging and trawling. Inshore dredging, pollution, climate change and illegal shellfish harvesting have all contributed to the demise of the local native oyster population. However, two remnant populations of native oysters are present within the Wild Oysters Project local area and are the focus of our attention.
The Firth of Clyde and Glasgow do not have the same degree of documented oyster culture as found associated with Edinburgh during the 18th Century. However, every Glaswegian and oyster connoisseur will be familiar with the Rogano Oyster Bar with its 1930s art deco interior. The Loch Fyne Oyster Bar located at the head of Scotland’s longest sea loch, has become an internationally recognised brand. Apart from the Loch Ryan native oyster fishery, most of the oysters grown in the Clyde are non-native species. At Fairlie, Cumbrae Oysters grow pacific oysters in Shellfish Protected Waters. Shellfish growing activity (mostly mussels) is also taking place within the other five designated Shellfish Protected Waters sites in the Clyde.