Welcome to Fal Fishery Cooperative CIC

The Fal Fishery Cooperative CIC is a ‘not for profit’ organisation, but like all other charities and community interest companies it has to cover overhead costs of administration, rent, research, staff and stock with or without grants/funding, it also has to build itself towards being a fair employer and sustainable habitat manager for the years, decades and centuries to come.

Our Director has recently co-authored two papers: European Native Oyster Restoration Policy (for peer review) and European Native Oyster Restoration Handbook (in prep).

Economic Viability

Historically, about 100 years ago, some 200 sail and oar vessels landed 800 tonnes from the same 1100 hectares that is now managed under the Fal Fishery Regulatory Order 2016. Stocks have recovered and maybe the offspring’s have become more resilient, but in the past few decades landings have peaked at about 100 tonnes between a few dozen or so vessels seen fishing on a daily basis.

AS PREDICTED - In 2019-20 season it is estimated that less than 20 tonnes will be harvested from the dozen or so sail and oar vessels, possibly due to the market no longer wanting to relay juveniles and possibly because some vessels are targeting other species. - THE TOTAL RECORDED LANDINGS WAS 19,226 KG AND TOTAL EXCLUDING OYSTERS PLACED ON LAYS = 16,491 KG!!

Why is the project so important?

The Native Oyster Restoration Alliance (NORA) and the Berlin Oyster Recommendation: “bringing back a key ecosystem engineer by developing and supporting best practice in Europe” Bernadette Pogoda et al

"Recommendations: Produce sufficient oysters for restoration of oyster reefs
Background: Sufficient seed oyster supply is a key limiting factor for native oyster restoration projects in Europe. Translocation between sites of seed oysters or any other size classes from wild beds should be discouraged to avoid increasing the pressure on still existing wild beds and reduce the risk of spreading invasive species and disease.
Recommendation: Action should be undertaken to support existing hatcheries, spatting ponds and spat collector techniques and to establish new hatcheries and spatting ponds for the production of robust and genetically diverse Ostrea edulis seed. Brood stock sanctuaries should be established and used for local reinforcements."

Crowdfunder

We are now seeking the funds to build our prototype ‘research vessel’ in the form of a working platform or pontoon. £20,000 is a small budget for such an ambitious platform, but we plan to build a modular pontoon so we can keep adding to it as we grow.

We built a small pontoon out of some donated floats and scaffolding to get us started and although it works ok its very small, a little temporary and totally manual (we currently have a slow manual chain hoist to lift the stock).

We have been looking at various suppliers, it is our intention to use rotor moulded recycled plastic for the floats and aluminium frame work as it is much lighter than steel. Finally we aim to have a hydraulic crane as the manual chain hoist takes too long!