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The Dutch oyster industry

The industry

Landings

Markets

The industry

Oesterbedrijven Korringaweg
Photo: Alice Barbé

Over 30 companies and individuals are involved in the oyster industry, including oyster fishing on wild banks, cultivation and/or trade. Eleven companies depend for at least 75% of their business on oyster cultivation in the Eastern Scheldt or Lake Gevelingen. The other companies are also involved in processing and trade of oysters or other fishing activities such as mussel cultivation or eel fishing. There are approximately 30 licences for the oyster fishery in the common area (wild beds) in the Eastern Scheldt. The majority of the licence holders also lease cultivation parcels. A total of 19 vessels is active in the oyster sector. Average revenue is around 5 million euros.


The oyster industry is concentrated in the village of Yerseke along the Eastern Scheldt. The industry employs approximately 100 people; 40 on the vessels and 60 on shore.

Companies that have a valid MSC chain of custody certificate are allowed to trade oysters with the MSC ecolabel. Find you Dutch oyster supplier here.

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Landings

Oesters vissen
Photo: Alice Barbé

Annually an average of 1 million flat oysters and between 20 and 35 million Pacific oysters are landed. The value of production is subject to strong yearly fluctuations. The total annual value averages approximately 5 million Eur. It is expected that the landings of Pacific oysters will drop significantly due to high mortality levels by the oyster herpes virus, which is harmless to humans, and the oyster drill. The Institute for Agricultural Economics (LEI) produces a yearly overview of the Dutch oyster landings.


All Dutch oysters orginating from Lake Grevelingen or the Eastern Scheldt are certified against the Marine Stewardship Council standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.

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Markets

Inpakken platte oesters
Photo: Alice Barbé

The larger part of the Dutch oyster output is exported to Belgium (50%). Other export countries are Germany (8%), France (6%) and Italy (16%). The Dutch market share in the European Union is an estimated 15%.

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