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Ostrea edulis

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Ostrea edulis
Temporal range: Miocene – Recent
Ostrea edulis 01.jpg
Valves of Ostrea edulis
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia
Order: Ostreida
Family: Ostreidae
Genus: Ostrea
Species:
O. edulis
Binomial name
Ostrea edulis

Ostrea edulis, commonly known as the European flat oyster, is a species of oyster native to Europe. In Britain and Ireland, regional names include Colchester native oyster, mud oyster, or edible oyster. In France, Ostrea edulis are known as huîtres plates (flat oysters) except for those that come from the Belon River estuary in Brittany, France, which are known as Belons.[3]

The fossil record of this species dates back to the Miocene (age range: 15.97 million years ago to present day). Fossils have been found in Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Egypt, Greece, Spain, the United Kingdom, Austria, France and Germany.[4]

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Oyster

Oyster

Oyster is the common name for a number of different families of salt-water bivalve molluscs that live in marine or brackish habitats. In some species, the valves are highly calcified, and many are somewhat irregular in shape. Many, but not all oysters are in the superfamily Ostreoidea.

Europe

Europe

Europe is a continent comprising the westernmost peninsulas of Eurasia, located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It shares the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Africa and Asia. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and Asia to the east. Europe is commonly considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed of the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, the Greater Caucasus, the Black Sea and the waterways of the Turkish Straits.

Brittany

Brittany

Brittany is a peninsula, historical country and cultural area in the north-west of modern France, covering the western part of what was known as Armorica during the period of Roman occupation. It became an independent kingdom and then a duchy before being united with the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province governed as a separate nation under the crown.

Miocene

Miocene

The Miocene is the first geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about 23.03 to 5.333 million years ago (Ma). The Miocene was named by Scottish geologist Charles Lyell; the name comes from the Greek words μείων and καινός and means "less recent" because it has 18% fewer modern marine invertebrates than the Pliocene has. The Miocene is preceded by the Oligocene and is followed by the Pliocene.

Description

When mature, O. edulis adults range from 3.8 to 11 centimetres (1.5 to 4.3 in) across.[5]

Shells are oval or pear shaped, white, yellowish or cream in colour, with a rough surface showing pale brown or bluish concentric bands on the right valve. The two valves are quite different in shape and size, as the left one is concave and fixed to the substratum, while the right one is almost flat and fits inside the left. The inner surface is smooth, whitish or bluish-grey.[6]

Fossil of Ostrea edulis from Pliocene of Italy
Fossil of Ostrea edulis from Pliocene of Italy

Biology

Ostrea edulis are gregarious molluscs that start their lives as males. They mature sexually after eight–ten months and may change sex depending on the water temperature. Usually the lifespan can reach about six years, with a maximum of 15 years. Adult oysters feed by filtration.[7]

Ostrea edulis; a) labial palpi b) gills c) mantle d) junction of the two folds of the mantle e) large adductor muscle f) the shell
Ostrea edulis; a) labial palpi b) gills c) mantle d) junction of the two folds of the mantle e) large adductor muscle f) the shell

Distribution

The species naturally ranges along the western and southern coasts of Europe from Norway to Morocco and including most of the British Isles and the Mediterranean coast.[8] Naturally viable populations have appeared in eastern North America from Maine to Rhode Island subsequent to artificial introduction in the 1940s and 1950s.[8]

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Europe

Europe

Europe is a continent comprising the westernmost peninsulas of Eurasia, located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It shares the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Africa and Asia. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and Asia to the east. Europe is commonly considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed of the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, the Greater Caucasus, the Black Sea and the waterways of the Turkish Straits.

Norway

Norway

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The remote Arctic island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard also form part of Norway. Bouvet Island, located in the Subantarctic, is a dependency of Norway; it also lays claims to the Antarctic territories of Peter I Island and Queen Maud Land. The capital and largest city in Norway is Oslo.

Morocco

Morocco

Morocco, officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and has land borders with Algeria to the east, and the disputed territory of Western Sahara to the south. Mauritania lies to the south of Western Sahara. Morocco also claims the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, and several small Spanish-controlled islands off its coast. It spans an area of 446,300 km2 (172,300 sq mi) or 710,850 km2 (274,460 sq mi), with a population of roughly 37 million. Its official and predominant religion is Islam, and the official languages are Arabic and Berber; the Moroccan dialect of Arabic and French are also widely spoken. Moroccan identity and culture is a mix of Arab, Berber, and European cultures. Its capital is Rabat, while its largest city is Casablanca.

British Isles

British Isles

The British Isles are a group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean off the north-western coast of continental Europe, consisting of the islands of Great Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles, and over six thousand smaller islands. They have a total area of 315,159 km2 (121,684 sq mi) and a combined population of almost 72 million, and include two sovereign states, the Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Channel Islands, off the north coast of France, are normally taken to be part of the British Isles, even though they do not form part of the archipelago.

North America

North America

North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea, and to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean. Because it is on the North American Tectonic Plate, Greenland is included as a part of North America geographically.

Maine

Maine

Maine is the easternmost state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States. It borders New Hampshire to the west, the Gulf of Maine to the southeast, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and northwest, respectively. The largest state by total area in New England, Maine is the 12th-smallest by area, the 9th-least populous, the 13th-least densely populated, and the most rural of the 50 U.S. states. It is also the northeasternmost among the contiguous United States, the northernmost state east of the Great Lakes, the only state whose name consists of a single syllable, and the only state to border exactly one other U.S. state. Approximately half the area of Maine lies on each side of the 45th parallel north in latitude. The most populous city in Maine is Portland, while its capital is Augusta.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island

Rhode Island is a state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area and the seventh-least populous, with slightly less than 1.1 million residents as of 2020; but Rhode Island has grown at every decennial count since 1790 and is the second-most densely populated state, after New Jersey. The state takes its name from the eponymous island, though nearly all of its land area is on the mainland. Rhode Island borders Connecticut to its west; Massachusetts to its north and east; and the Atlantic Ocean to its south via Rhode Island Sound and Block Island Sound; and shares a small maritime border with New York, east of Long Island. Providence is its capital and most populous city.

Habitat

Ostrea edulis can be found in estuarine and shallow coastal water with hard substrata of mud and rocks.[9]

Human use

Worldwide O. edulis harvest in tonnes, 1950–2003
Worldwide O. edulis harvest in tonnes, 1950–2003

Ostrea edulis has been harvested throughout Europe as an important food source since prehistory.[10] During Roman occupation of Britain O. edulis oysters were exported in large quantities back to Italy.[11] However, due to their robust nature and ease of cultivation the Pacific oysters, Crassostrea gigas, account for more than 75 percent of Europe's oyster production.

European flat oysters are famously grown in Brittany, France. The true Belon oyster is cultivated in the Belon River, France, and has the AOC protected name.[12] In the 1950s, Dutch scientists artificially introduced Belon oyster seed into the waters around Maine in hopes to establish a viable stock. The initial project was abandoned but ten years later natural colonies of flat oysters were found in the wild.[3] Many North American suppliers use the name 'Belon' to species that are found in the wild throughout the United States.

Loch Ryan oysters are sourced from Scotland's only commercial European flat oyster bed.
Loch Ryan oysters are sourced from Scotland's only commercial European flat oyster bed.

Ostrea edulis is now also being maricultured in the states of California, Maine, and Washington in the United States. The species once dominated European oyster production but disease, pollution, and overfishing sharply reduced the harvest.[8] Currently, there are efforts across Germany, the UK, France, Scotland, and Wales to restore oyster reefs and maintain the habitat.[13]

U.S. oyster growers farm O. edulis in small quantities on both coasts. They are prized for their unique tannic seawater flavour, sometimes described as dry and metallic, and are more expensive than other American oysters.[8] The flavour is considered excellent for eating raw on the half shell.[14][15]

The adductor muscle of the European flat in combination with the shape of the shell results in a somewhat weaker seal compared with other oyster species. It is common practice to use rubber bands to prevent oysters from spilling their liquor and dehydrating in storage before consumption.[16]

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Pacific oyster

Pacific oyster

The Pacific oyster, Japanese oyster, or Miyagi oyster, is an oyster native to the Pacific coast of Asia. It has become an introduced species in North America, Australia, Europe, and New Zealand.

Appellation d'origine contrôlée

Appellation d'origine contrôlée

In France, the appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) is a label that identifies an agricultural product whose stages of production and processing are carried out in a defined geographical area – the terroir – and using recognized and traditional know-how. The specificity of an AOC product is determined by the combination of a physical and biological environment with established production techniques transmitted within a human community that, together, give the product its distinctive qualities. These crucial technical and geographic factors are set forth in standards for each product, including wines, cheeses and meats. Other countries and the European Union have similar labeling systems. The European Union's protected designation of origin system has now harmonized the protection of all geographical indications and their registration. When labelling wine however, producers may still use recognized traditional terms like AOC, and are not required to display the PDO and PGI logos or terms, mostly for aesthetic purposes.

Maine

Maine

Maine is the easternmost state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States. It borders New Hampshire to the west, the Gulf of Maine to the southeast, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and northwest, respectively. The largest state by total area in New England, Maine is the 12th-smallest by area, the 9th-least populous, the 13th-least densely populated, and the most rural of the 50 U.S. states. It is also the northeasternmost among the contiguous United States, the northernmost state east of the Great Lakes, the only state whose name consists of a single syllable, and the only state to border exactly one other U.S. state. Approximately half the area of Maine lies on each side of the 45th parallel north in latitude. The most populous city in Maine is Portland, while its capital is Augusta.

United States

United States

The United States of America, commonly known as the United States or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major unincorporated territories, nine Minor Outlying Islands, and 326 Indian reservations. The United States is also in free association with three Pacific Island sovereign states: the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. It is the world's third-largest country by both land and total area. It shares land borders with Canada to its north and with Mexico to its south and has maritime borders with the Bahamas, Cuba, Russia, and other nations. With a population of over 333 million, it is the most populous country in the Americas and the third most populous in the world. The national capital of the United States is Washington, D.C. and its most populous city and principal financial center is New York City.

Mariculture

Mariculture

Mariculture or marine farming is a specialized branch of aquaculture involving the cultivation of marine organisms for food and other animal products, in enclosed sections of the open ocean, fish farms built on littoral waters, or in artificial tanks, ponds or raceways which are filled with seawater. An example of the latter is the farming of marine fish, including finfish and shellfish like prawns, or oysters and seaweed in saltwater ponds. Non-food products produced by mariculture include: fish meal, nutrient agar, jewellery, and cosmetics.

California

California

California is a state in the Western United States, located along the Pacific Coast. With nearly 39.2 million residents across a total area of approximately 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), it is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. It is also the most populated subnational entity in North America and the 34th most populous in the world. The Greater Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions respectively, with the former having more than 18.7 million residents and the latter having over 9.6 million. Sacramento is the state's capital, while Los Angeles is the most populous city in the state and the second most populous city in the country. San Francisco is the second most densely populated major city in the country. Los Angeles County is the country's most populous, while San Bernardino County is the largest county by area in the country. California borders Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; and it has a coastline along the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Oyster reef restoration

Oyster reef restoration

Oyster reef restoration refers to the process of rebuilding or restoring of oyster reefs all over the globe. Over time, oysters have been negatively affected by environmental change, such as harmful fishing techniques, over harvesting, water pollution, and other factors. The results of these factors have been disease and ultimately, a large decline in the global population of oysters and the prevalence and sustainability of oyster reefs. Apart from the ecological importance of oyster reefs, oyster farming is an important industry, particularly in coastal areas. Both artificial materials and natural components have been used to rebuild the reefs in an attempt to regenerate the oyster population thus fostering the reformation of reefs.

Oyster farming

Oyster farming

Oyster farming is an aquaculture practice in which oysters are bred and raised mainly for their pearls, shells and inner organ tissue, which is eaten. Oyster farming was practiced by the ancient Romans as early as the 1st century BC on the Italian peninsula and later in Britain for export to Rome. The French oyster industry has relied on aquacultured oysters since the late 18th century.

Source: "Ostrea edulis", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 30th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostrea_edulis.

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References
  1. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Systema Naturae (in Latin) (10 ed.). Uppsala: Linnaeus.
  2. ^ "ITIS Standard Report Page: Ostrea edulis". Retrieved 2008-08-06.
  3. ^ a b "Where do Belon Oysters come from and are they that rare?". Pangea Shellfish Company | Oyster and Shellfish Wholesale. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  4. ^ Fossilworks
  5. ^ Jackson, Angus (2008-07-14). "Basic information for Ostrea edulis (Native oyster)". Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2008-03-15. Retrieved 2008-08-07.
  6. ^ "FAO Fisheries & Aquaculture Ostrea edulis". www.fao.org. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  7. ^ "Arkive.org". Archived from the original on 2015-06-08. Retrieved 2015-06-08.
  8. ^ a b c d "FAO Fisheries & Aquaculture Ostrea edulis". FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
  9. ^ "MarLIN". Archived from the original on 2015-07-06. Retrieved 2015-06-08.
  10. ^ Hausmann, Niklas; Robson, Harry K.; Hunt, Chris (2019-09-30). "Annual Growth Patterns and Interspecimen Variability in Mg/Ca Records of Archaeological Ostrea edulis (European Oyster) from the Late Mesolithic Site of Conors Island". Open Quaternary. 5 (1): 9. doi:10.5334/oq.59. ISSN 2055-298X.
  11. ^ "European Flat Oyster – Ostrea edulis – Details – Encyclopedia of Life". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 2017-10-28.
  12. ^ "Belon Oysters – Maine". www.chefs-resources.com. Retrieved 2017-10-28.
  13. ^ Pogoda, Bernadette; Brown, Janet; Hancock, Boze; Preston, Joanne; Pouvreau, Stephane; Kamermans, Pauline; Sanderson, William; von Nordheim, Henning (2019). "The Native Oyster Restoration Alliance (NORA) and the Berlin Oyster Recommendation: bringing back a key ecosystem engineer by developing and supporting best practice in Europe". Aquatic Living Resources. 32: 13. doi:10.1051/alr/2019012. ISSN 1765-2952.
  14. ^ "Ostrea Edulis & Others – TIME". Time. 1964-07-31. Archived from the original on December 14, 2011. Retrieved 2008-08-07.
  15. ^ "Kelly Galway Oysters". Archived from the original on 2009-04-23. Retrieved 2008-08-07.
  16. ^ "Where do Belon Oysters come from and are they that rare?". Pangea Shellfish Company | Oyster and Shellfish Wholesale. Retrieved 2017-10-28.
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