By putting down suitable "cultch" or "stools" immense quantities of the wandering fry may be induced to settle, and are thus saved.
Unoccupied territory may, however, be prepared for the reception of new beds, by spreading sand, gravel and shells over muddy bottoms, or, indeed, beds may be kept up in locations for permanent natural beds, by putting down mature oysters and cultch just before the time of breeding, thus giving the young a chance to fix themselves before the currents and enemies have had time to accomplish much in the way of destruction.
Cultch is placed upon them every year, and gathering of oysters upon them is allowed only at intervals of two or more years, when the authority thinks they are sufficiently stocked to permit of it.
At Whitstable most of the stock is thus obtained, but cultch (i.e.
The use of cultch as collector is a very ancient practice in England, and is still almost universally maintained.
Just before the close season the young oysters and all the rest that remain are scattered over the beds again, with quantities of cultch, and in many cases the fishery is maintained by the local fall of spat, without importation.
In some places where the ground is suitable cultch is spread over the foreshores also to collect spat.