Sierra Leonne Bonthe Oyster Festival
Whitstable Oyster Company in Sierra leone
James green, who has a MSc in Sustainable Aquaculture, was originally asked to go to the main administrative centre of Bonthe Town in the Sherbro River estuary to work as a pro-bono consultant for the environmental charity Environmental justice foundation in 2013. This was to look at ways to offset destructive harvesting practices of wild mangrove oysters by the introduction of simple oyster aquaculture techniques.
Simple spat collectors of oysters shells threaded onto strings and hung from frames in the intertidal zones were used to collect oyster spat and gian information about growth rates and seasonal variability.
This project was put on hold due to the outbreak of Ebola and then incorporated into the Darwin Initiative Funded project 'Alternative livelihood opportunities for marine protected areas fisherwomen' that started in 2014 and finished in 2018. For more information and the final report visit: darwininitiative.org.uk.
Now the project has finished the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company has committed to fund the next five years of the Bonthe Oyster Festival, one of the projects successful outcomes, and associated activities to ensure this important work continues.
We want to fund more work in Sierra Leone so have also committed to give 1 penny from every oyster sale in Whitstable from 1st May 2019, so every one of our oysters you eaten in whitstable will help in a small way to a more sustainable future for Fisherwomen in the Sherbro river estuary.