Oysters are amongst the most environmentally-friendly foods one can consume.
Sustainability and carbon footprint of oysters
Can Oyster farms save the environment?
Oysters, compared to other forms of marine aquaculture, actually have a net positive effect on the marine environment with absolutely no negative impacts! In fact, they improve the water quality around them, filtering over 50 litres a day and cleaning the ocean, whilst requiring zero feed, fertilizer or chemical inputs which can drastically impact the environment. They are considered a keystone species as they protect other marine life from ocean acidification. Oysters act as carbon sinks, reducing amounts of carbon in the sea and atmosphere, which is important in addressing the grave environmental issue that we’re facing with carbon pollution and global warming. They ‘sequester’ carbon allowing for a significant reduction in carbon in the ocean water and thus a lower carbon density in the surrounding environment. They use this carbon in the formation of their shell which is composed primarily of calcium carbonate, a mineral found in corals and other bivalves! They are also very good at extracting nitrogen from our waterways and using it in their shell and their tissue. Even though nitrogen is important to have in aquatic environments, it is often in excess amounts due to runoff which reduces oxygen concentration in the water resulting in the ‘asphyxiation’ of other marine life.
Another excellent side effect of farming oysters is their function in preventing and reducing coastal erosion and providing ecosystem habitats for hundreds of species. ,
These are only a few of the many reasons Oysters are sustainable, especially farmed oysters like ours, which keeps the wild species numbers high and safe!
To summarise, oysters are excellent for the environment as they clean the water, remove excess nitrogen, accelerate denitrification, enhance water clarity, promote eelgrass survival and provide excellent habitat for myriad juvenile fish and crustaceans.