Go to main content

Tema: Flat oyster

The European flat oyster is indigenous to European waters; found in the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, on the coast of Morocco and north along the European coasts north to Trøndelag. We can find them from just below the tidal zone down to a few meters’ depth. 

The flat oyster is a heat-loving species that needs water temperatures above 16-18 degrees to sexually mature and spawn. It is therefore found in areas where the water gets warm enough in the summer, like sheltered areas and lagoons.

Oysters as food  

Flat oysters are a delicacy. The quality is best from autumn and during the winter when the oysters have had good access to food and accumulated a lot of nutrition. They can also keep a high quality in the spring, but the sexual maturation and spawning reduce the quality a lot. Wild oysters must only be harvested in completely clean water, to avoid contamination from sewage. Oysters that we harvest ourselves should be heat treated if we are to be sure that they do not contain bacteria and viruses that cause sickness. Oysters can also accumulate algal toxins, so it is important to follow the algae warning

Oyster cultivation  

Previously, oysters were grown in many areas, but this industry is currently limited to a few facilities in Western Norway. These facilities have optimized their operations and work to bring out high-quality oysters. Most European populations are severely affected by diseases. Norwegian populations are not infected, and there is currently an increased focus on the value of these oyster for use in aquaculture, as well as re-stocking projects.