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SANYO DIGITAL CAMERACornish IconOyster

The Ostrea Edulis, European Native Flat Oyster, is an iconic part of Cornish culture with its epicentre in the historic harbour town of Falmouth.

For many years, fishing, including related maritime activities and traditional skills, has experienced a decline. Local communities have seen their livelihood disappear and their proud heritage diluted by the rise of a leisure-driven economy.

The native oyster, a crucial keystone species, a marine mollusc that few ever see living in the wild, will be brought to prominence by the arrival of this striking public art sculpture, opening up many opportunities for raising the profile of Community Heritage, and resulting job creation.

The Fal Oyster is a standard bearer for sustainable fishing. As well as a source nutrient-rich food, the oyster’s potential for filtering and cleaning tidal waters, adversely affected by human activity, particularly in large natural harbours and estuaries, is heralding an exciting new opportunity for Falmouth to deliver an impact internationally.

Funded by monies earmarked for Public Art projects, also from corporate and private donations, the sculpture will be given to the town of Falmouth via a registered charity – The Oyster Sculpture (educational) Trust.

Good art tells a story – this sculpture, via activities initiated by The Trust and other stakeholders, will offer new opportunities in performing, story telling, learning, research, education, commerce and manufacturing, triggered by the its presence in Falmouth.

As well as an educational and cultural centrepiece, the sculpture could join the ranks of internationally recognised public art, bringing visitors from all over the world, boosting tourism, business and awareness of the unique Fal Oyster fishery.

During initial project research in 2012, oyster shells shown on this page were donated as inspiration for the sculpture by a well known Fal Oysterman.