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19.07.07
Objective One Fisheries investment helps regeneration of Duchy of Cornwall oyster farm

Duchy of Cornwall Oyster Farm has received Objective One Fisheries investment of over £240,000 towards its regeneration.

The private fishery and oyster beds on the Helford River in Cornwall have enjoyed a glorious history. The oyster beds have been tended and farmed for many centuries producing oysters sought after throughout the UK and abroad. The oysterage thrived until the Bonamia parasite devastated the native oyster stock in Helford and the Fal in the early 1980s. The slow recovery from this disaster meant a dramatic decline in oyster production.

In 2005, Ben Wright and Wright Brothers Oyster Merchants took a licence of the oysterage with the aim of regenerating it to its former glory. The investment from the Objective One Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) fund will include purchase of a special boat to access all parts of the oyster beds, cages and racks for oysters, and the upgrade of the processing building to modern hygienic standards with new machinery to ensure efficiency and improve product handling and quality.

Redevelopment of the Duchy of Cornwall Oyster Farm on the Helford River will bring many benefits, such as a fishery management scheme, improved water quality and new local job opportunities with the prospect of training for new skills.

The project will also bring benefits to the oyster fishermen in the Fal River helping to safeguard this fishery which is unique as it is fished only by sailing and rowing. By increasing the market for Fal oysters, for both re-laying in the Helford fishery or for marketing nationally and abroad, the company hopes to make a major contribution to promoting this special fishery and ensuring its long-term survival.

Ben Wright, managing director of Duchy of Cornwall Oyster Farm, commented: "The regeneration of the Helford fishery and oysterage is an extremely ambitious and challenging project which would not have been possible without Objective One funding and the expertise and assistance of South West Pesca. The project will ensure that what was once one of the classic traditional oyster fisheries of the British Isles will survive long into the exciting modern era of aquaculture and sustainable fishing."

Clare Leverton, Objective One Fisheries Programme Manager added: "Objective One investment will help this business to create new employment opportunities producing high quality products, raising the profile of Cornish aquaculture and seafood in UK and European markets."

For further information contact Clare Leverton of South West Pesca on 01872 270333 or email admin@swpesca.co.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Duchy of Cornwall Oyster Farm through the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) fund.

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Editor's notes:

Ben Wright, Duchy of Cornwall Oyster Farm
Bulk sales of pacific and native oysters to on-growers and purification centres.
Sales of depurated pacific and native oysters to wholesalers, retailers and the public.

Duchy of Cornwall Oyster Farm and Fishery
Helford River
Port Navas
Falmouth
Cornwall
TR11 5RJ
Tel: 01326 340210
Fax: 01326 340288
Email: ben@duchyoysterfarm.com
web: www.duchyoysterfarm.com

The Objective One Fisheries Programme grants are managed and partly funded by the Marine and Fisheries Agency, a national agency of Defra (Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs).
www.mfa.gov.uk

The Marine and Fisheries Agency is an executive agency of government which is tasked with service delivery, inspection, and enforcement provided by the government to the fishing industry and other marine users in England and Wales.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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