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Duchy Oyster The Future

The Helford River Duchy Oyster Farm will close next year following more than a decade of operation.

The Duchy of Cornwall announced that it will be closing the Oyster Farm, run by Wright Brothers, which has operated in Port Navas since 2005, in 2017.

According to the Duchy, talks about the future of the oyster farm began earlier this year as it wished to reclaim the land on which the farm is sited, while the occupant looked to focus on their wholesale and restaurant business. There has been criticism about the operation from some quarters as it is based on Pacific oysters at the expense of native oysters.

By mutual agreement, the premises, including the buildings and quay will be returned to the management of the Duchy by April next year. Wright Brothers will sell all existing stock and ensure the site is in a suitable condition for the cultivation of native oysters in the future.

Chris Gregory, land steward for the Duchy of Cornwall, said: “The joint decision of the duchy and the occupant to end the Helford oyster farming agreement provides us with an opportunity to consider how the oysterage is used in the future. We look forward to doing that in conjunction with the local community, over the course of the coming months.”

A spokesperson for Wright Brothers, the owner of the Duchy of Cornwall Oyster Farm Company, said: “It has been an amazing 11 years in a very special part of Cornwall. We are very proud of what we have achieved, notably creating eight full-time, year-round jobs and contributing well over £1million to the local economy.

“We are sad that this has come to an end but we shall now focus on our restaurants and wholesale businesses and we continue to work closely with oyster farmers all over the UK, Europe and America.”

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