Whitstable vs Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company

The continuing development of industrial-scale farming, ripping apart this delicate ecosystem, is an ongoing threat to an area of national and international importance.

Whitstable Views

Support Whitstable Beach Campaign at the upcoming public inquiry


CJ Stone


Fishing for native oysters or farming rock oysters

Whitstable is famous for its oysters. The Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company (WOFC) has been in existence since 1793, when it was set up by an Act of Parliament; but, as its name suggests, this was to fish for oysters in the oyster beds far off shore, using dredgers, not to farm them in a semi-industrial process on racks adjacent to the beach.

I’m sure that most people in Whitstable will have seen them. Visitors, too, now comment on the unsightly proliferation of these rusting metal constructions stretched out along the foreshore. They are visible at low tide, first appearing as a series of hooks above the water line as the tide is receding, then slowly revealing themselves more and more as the water shrinks back into the estuary.


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