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The Wester Ross UNESCO Biosphere  - Announcement

We have some exciting news to share! The Native Oyster & Shellfish Company is now an official registered supporter of the Wester Ross UNESCO Biosphere.

What is an UNESCO Biosphere?

An UNESCO Biosphere reserve is defined as a learning place for sustainable development, and they are designated by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation).

Any reserve is a partnership between the local community and other interested parties in the management of the area. The aims are:

  • Conservation of biodiversity and cultural diversity
  • Economic development that is socio-culturally and environmentally sustainable
  • Logistic support, underpinning development through research, monitoring, education and training

Ultimately, they are a way to provide local solutions to global challenges and provide the opportunity for people to learn to live in harmony with the environment.   

More information regarding the programme can be found at UNESCO.

The Wester Ross Biosphere

As one of the only two UNESCO Biospheres in Scotland, Wester Ross has a very unique natural heritage, rich wildlife, pristine waters surrounded by rugged mountains, remote glens and long, steep sided straths.

Wester Ross is a vast place with a low population density – one of the lowest in Europe, with just 1.6 people per km2. However small though, its communities weave the fabric of life through traditional music, ceilidhs, crofting, and the Gaelic language.

In 2016, the Biosphere was expanded to over 100 times its original size, and now covers 5,200 square kilometres of Wester Ross and Lochalsh. The new-style biosphere is a place where people live and actively learn about their surroundings to inspire a legacy rich in both natural and cultural heritage.

More information regarding the biosphere can be found at Wester Ross Biosphere.

Our Role

Ever since the inception of the Native Oyster and Shellfish Company, we have always strived towards restoring the endangered Native European Flat oyster and nurturing the environment that surrounds us.

As part of our ethos, we are continuously exploring innovative culture methods that will help improve the ways that the Native European Flat oysters are grown, with a long-term view of helping to restore wild natural populations across Scotland and Europe.

By becoming part of the Wester Ross UNESCO biosphere we hope to accelerate these activities, aiding in the fight to save the Native oyster. Having trusted local partnerships and support we are excited to explore opportunities such as, evaluating and restoring the remaining local wild populations of the Native oyster and identifying and mapping genetic variability to aid in brood stock development.

Of equal importance, we also aim continue developing our business and create much needed local employment opportunities.  

We are extremely excited to embark on this journey as part of the Wester Ross UNESCO Biosphere and we cannot wait to see what this milestone brings for the future of our Native European Flat oysters.


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