Spring bloom arrives in Clew Bay

oyster farming in Clew Bay
Murrisk Shellfish Oyster farm grows pacific oysters in Clew Bay, County Mayo.

Recently I met an oyster farmer in Murrisk who grows pacific oysters. I asked if he saw any recent growth in his oysters after a long winter. He said he noticed fresh growth after a period of rain. Oysters are “filter feeders” and filter 50 gallons (189 Litres) of  water per day and extract phytoplankton from the seawater.  Phytoplankton are microscopic plants and animals in the water column that sustain both the oysters and mussel farms in Clew Bay, but also sea giants like the Basking Shark which were once caught in a fishery in Achill Island in the 1950’s. Clean water quality in the sea is the critical key to this natural cycle of growth and renewal each year.

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