A Bord Iascaigh Mhara project to grow oysters in Cork Harbour has been a success.

Fish farming is becoming a growth area in Ireland, and on Great Island in Cork Harbour one experiment has proven that this business is a viable one.  

Japanese oysters have been successfully farmed here in a venture undertaken by the Atlantic Fish Company and Board Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

The seafood firm run by Englishman David Hugh Jones put fifteen thousand seed oysters into the waters of Cork Harbour last May, and their quick growth rate means they could be harvested after only eleven months, compared to the native Irish oyster, which takes four to eight years to mature.  

It has been one of the most successful experiments in Europe.

Tony Meaney from BIM is pleased with the results. The nutrient rich waters of Cork Harbour have proven ideal for farming oysters,

We're confident that it will make oysters more plentiful.

At the moment these oysters are all for the export market, but he is confident that Irish seafood lovers will take them on board once they know about them. And far from being pushed into the background, there will still be a place on plates for the native Irish oyster ,  

The native European oyster has been with civilization since its inception, and we believe that it will continue to be important.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 11 July 1975. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.