Click an image to open a 360′ Panorama
The oyster fishery in Loch Ryan, Scotland, is the only wild oyster fishery surviving in Britain.
After centuries of over fishing and industrial development the native oyster is either extinct in many places, or exists in such small numbers that their exploitation is not commercially viable. Certainly there are oyster farms where oysters are grown from seed, deliberately placed in tanks or bags and brought on with human help, as in fish farms.
The oyster fishery in Loch Ryan, however, is a managed wild fishery, having remained in the possession of the Wallace family since 1701 when the oyster beds were given to them by King William III. The fishery is currently manged by Rossmore Oysters Ltd.
Evidence of earlier substantial oyster fishing still exists on the east coast of Loch Ryan, though most has been obliterated by the construction of Stena Line’s new ferry terminal.
Once this food was commonplace, a staple part of the national diet, but now it’s an expensive luxury served in exclusive hotels and restaurants. Virtually all of the produce from Loch Ryan sells abroad in Spain and France, along with other fine Scottish seafood now strangely missing from the Scottish menu.