MDL to Support Restoration of Native Oyster in Solent

Posted: 10th September 2014

MDL Marinas is delighted to announce its support of the Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) in its campaign to restore the historic Solent oyster fishery. BLUE represents a great initiative that is aimed at restoring the once thriving fishery, bringing employment opportunities and a sustainable local food source that will give a valuable contribution to the local economy.

MDL Marinas is one of the partners, alongside Business South who are supporting the initiative, with BLUE working to gain commitment and funding from even more stakeholders over the coming months.

The Solent oyster fishery was once the largest self-sustaining native oyster stock in Europe – employing 700 people with up to 450 boats working in the fishery. Today, the fishery is closed with insufficient oysters to sustain a commercial fishery, and just a handful of boats. Not only has the loss been seen in unemployment and the local food source, but native oysters also provide critical ecosystem services by filtering and purifying water, contributing to coastal defenses and providing important ecological habitats.

BLUE has already clearly demonstrated its capabilities to gain results at Lyme Bay in Dorset where it achieved a positive outcome in its project to establish a scientifically-informed, sustainable and equitable fishery, bringing together previously opposed parties and creating a management plan which had implemented a number of important initiatives. Lyme Bay’s fishermen are actively involved in the process to secure a sustainable fishery for themselves and future generations – a process that creates jobs and improves the local economy.

Dean Smith, Operations and Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, commented “We fully support the work of BLUE and believe re-establishing the Solent oyster fishery will be a very successful venture – both from an economic and environmental perspective. It’s great to see the work that has been undertaken in Lyme Bay and we are looking forward to working with BLUE on another successful project in the Solent.”

BLUE Co-founder, Chris Gorell Barnes, commented: The Blue Marine Foundation is delighted with the support we have received from MDL Marinas. Their sponsorship not only opens the doors and minds of other leading stakeholders to the project, but has also enabled us to become a Champion of the South Region. With our positioning, we hope to unite companies, organisations and individuals to harness the funding and collaborative expertise needed to support our work in restoring the once thriving Native Oyster fishery. Successful and well managed restoration of the native oyster will deliver significant ecosystem service benefits to the Solent marine environment as well as economic gains to the region.

To find out more about BLUE go to