The OYSTER has a soft body protected by two
shells of irregular greyish colour, with a highly
calcified part and the other flatter, both closed
tightly by strong muscles.
It is found in the Northeast Atlantic and along
the Portuguese coast, in very diverse habitats,
tolerating salinities typical of marine and
brackish water and may even survive exposure
to reduced salinities, provided that it is for short
periods of time. It prefers the shallow areas of
estuaries, which sediment can be rocky or
mobile, including sandy and silty bottoms.
It feeds by filtering on particles suspended in
the water. Spawning occurs during summer.
It is largely produced by aquaculture; the
oysters are placed on floating rafts in estuarine
areas, where they are later harvested.
Oysters were considered a powerful
aphrodisiac by the Romans and the fame still
remains, although the scientific data are not
Minimum legal catch weight: