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Oysters; Natives/European Oyster (Ostrea edulis)

These live in estuaries between Norway the Western Mediterranean, and grow up to about 12cm. British versions from the coasts of Essex, Kent and Cornwall are very-highly regarded; as are those from North West France - where 60% of total production is reared.

Nowadays they are grown on "farms" - some of which are always submerged, others exposing the shellfish at low tide.

Oysters need very clean water, and filter litres of water every hour.

A mature native oyster takes about 5 years to grow to maturity, and will only be offered for sale when there is an "R" in the month, to avoid the breeding season.

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