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Oysters are to be reintroduced in the Highlands more than a century after they were fished to extinction in the region.
Twenty thousand oysters will be placed on artificial waste shell reefs to recreate the natural coral - the first time this has been attempted anywhere in Europe.
Year - Oysters - Dornoch - Firth - Waters
Last year, 300 oysters were placed in Dornoch Firth's protected waters to confirm the species could survive.
They thrived, paving the way for the Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project (DEEP) to recreate natural reefs.
Oysters - Reefs - Dornoch - Firth - Month
Oysters will be carefully placed on the first of these reefs in Dornoch Firth this month.
The artificial reefs were created from waste shells to mimic the osyters' natural habitat.
Oysters - UK - Disease - 'hitchhikers
The native oysters, all grown in the UK, painstakingly cleaned and checked for disease and unwanted 'hitchhikers', will be regularly monitored.
If the trial is successful, scientists hope to boost oyster numbers to 200,000 over three years.
Years - Population - Hectares - Oyster - Reefs
Over five years, the population will be built up to four million and spread over 40 hectares, restoring the self-sustaining oyster reefs that existed in the Firth until they were fished out in the 19th century.
The initiative is a combined effort by the whisky company Glenmorangie and its partners in the project: Heriot-Watt University and the Marine Conservation Society.
Torrie - Glenmorangie - Corporate - Social - Responsibility
Hamish Torrie, Glenmorangie’s Corporate Social Responsibility director, said: 'We are very excited to move DEEP to its next stage and have...
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