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Island homes plan is ‘cookie cutter project’

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Oyster ​cages have been insta​lled on ​the Land​ Rover B​AR ponto​on as part of a trial to increase the dwindling oyster population.

The Solent had once supported an oyster trade worth millions but in the last few years has seen a rapid decline and the subsequent collapse of the oyster fishery in the area.

Now the idea is to nurture protected cages of adult oysters at the team base in Portsmouth to reproduce and ‘reseed’ the wider fishery.

Land Rover BAR is hosting the trial, Portsmouth Institute of Marine Science (IMS) is monitoring the science and doing the research, while marina company MDL has developed the pontoons.

Oysters were provided by the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, who worked with local fishermen to relocate oysters from an area which was due to be dredged as part of a programme to deepen the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour.

Dr Joanne Preston of IMS, said: ‘It’s fantastic to see stage one complete, the oysters are in so we can now start collecting the data to gain a better understanding into what is happening to the oysters and the ecosystem around them.’