The spatfall in 1924, as in 1923, was very slight and from the point of view of the oyster-producer was a failure, and was little better in 1922.
The growth of oysters in the summer of 1924 was unusually great; this has had the effect of bringing a large proportion of small oysters to a legally takeable size.
The dredging results have, therefore, been much better than they were expected to be in the season of 1924–25, but the effect has been to deplete the beds still more of reserve stocks of small.
Practically all the present stocks of small oysters are of a size between 2 and 2½ inches.
With only average growth in 1925 and 1926 a large majority of these small oysters will have attained a size which will not pass through a 2½-inch ring; hence the beds are in a dangerous state.
If, therefore, dredging continues under the present conditions, almost the whole of the present stock of small will have grown to large oysters and be cleared off the beds in the season of 1926–27.
It is shown that although oysters may grow to a size of 2½ inches at Falmouth in small numbers in three summers, yet four summers are required before a fair proportion of spat can be expected to attain a size of 2½ inches.