Oisre Conamara

Oisre Conamara: Oyster Information and Scientific Restoration of Ecosystems of Conamara

OISRE Conamara: Oyster Information and Scientific Restoration of Ecosystems of Conamara, is an ambitious ecological restoration project funded by the Irish Research Council (IRC) and Údarás na Gaeltachta under the IRC Enterprise Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme.  The multidisplinary team of scientific divers and ecologists at ATU, in collaboration with the Comharchumann Sliogéisc Chonamara Teo shellfish co-op, is mapping extant natural oyster (Ostrea edulis) beds and marine ecosystems in Kilkieran and Bertraghbui Bays, in Connemara (Co. Galway), and documenting their structure and biodiversity. Experimental restoration using local oysters and different cultch substrates will determine temporal biodiversity trends and faunal recolonisation patterns. The food webs of oyster bed habitats will be described to determine trophic interactions with nearby habitats such as kelp beds and seagrass beds as well as salmon and seaweed farms. This ecological restoration project offers a unique opportunity to provide valuable information for managers and regulators for sustainable management, bed rejuvenation and provision of much needed evidence and measures of restoration success that could be used in sites where native oysters have disappeared. The project is part of the Native Oyster Restoration Alliance (NORA) and the Native Oyster Network of the UK and Ireland.

Project Team

Lecturer in marine ecology. Researcher in marine habitat conservation and restoration aquaculture (kelp, bivalves)
Lecturer and Researcher in Freshwater and Marine Ecology

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