Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas control within the inter-tidal zone of the North East Kent Marine Protected Areas, UK

Published source details

McKnight W. & Chudleigh I. (2015) Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas control within the inter-tidal zone of the North East Kent Marine Protected Areas, UK. Conservation Evidence, 12, 28-32

Summary

This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of control measures undertaken by volunteer labour to impede the spread of wild Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas within the inter-tidal zone of the North East Kent Marine Protected Areas. This was achieved by conducting a one-year field trial during which a small group of volunteers physically reduced the number of oysters towards a pre-determined target. The site contained a large number of oysters and had high levels of annual recruitment, thus posing a threat to native species and biotopes. Comparison of pre- and post-trial data indicated that oyster numbers were considerably reduced at the trial site although they had increased at each of three control sites. The method used had minimal impact on native species and habitats but was labour-intensive, warranting the use of volunteers. This method of control could be used effectively in other similar situations.