Dornoch Environment Enhancement Project (DEEP project)
2017 > Ongoing
Glenmorangie Distillery recreates extinct native oyster reefs in the Dornoch Firth.
A ground-breaking environmental project pioneered by Glenmorangie has seen native European oysters reintroduced to coastal waters around its Highland home after a century’s absence.
The aim is to restore long-lost oyster reefs to the Firth, to enhance biodiversity and also act in tandem with the anaerobic digestion plant to purify the by-products created through the distillation process – an environmental first for a Distillery.
The re-introduction of the oysters to the Dornoch Firth comes as Glenmorangie officially opens its €6million anaerobic digestion plant at its Distillery in the Highlands of Scotland. The plant purifies up to 95% of the waste water that the Distillery releases into the Firth with the remaining 5 per cent of the organic waste naturally cleaned by the oysters.
Native oysters flourished in the Firth up to 10,000 years ago before being decimated in the 19th century due to overfishing. Their return to the Firth for the first time in over 100 years will enrich the eco-system of an important marine habitat.
Marine Conservation Society
300 oysters were first introduced on 5 March 2017. These oysters thrived, paving the way for a feat never before attempted in Europe – recreating natural reefs. Starting in October 2018, 20,000 oysters will be carefully placed on the first of these reefs, specially created from waste shell, to mimic their natural habitat.
Measurement & evaluation
Measurement and evaluation is made by the Marine Conservation Society.
An Independent Research Advisory Panel (IRAP) of leading European Marine scientists has also been created. Led by Professor John Baxter the panel will have oversight of the DEEP project.