We can hardly believe now that immensely rich oyster beds once fringed many of the coasts of western Europe. Though some authors exaggerate by trying to make us believe that once a nearly uninterrupted cordon of natural oyster banks existed, there are reliable data available to convince us, that many natural oyster beds of the French and Scotch coasts were very rich indeed, and that the banks along the English, Dutch, German and Danish coasts were by no means negligible. These oyster beds disappeared no doubt by overfishing and but a few poor remains, scattered along our coasts, economically of little or no importance, remind us of the once very important fisheries on the natural oyster banks. Only in France and Holland new methods were adopted in time, and an intensive oyster culture, spreading prosperity in the regions concerned, took the place of the old free fishery on the natural beds, raising the yield to an unexpected level. In Holland and France a self-supporting oyster culture is thriving and there is no reason to grieve for declined and disappeared natural beds. Listen to Lambert (1946): „Les grands gisements ont disparu. Faut-il s’en plaindre? De l’affaiblissement ou de la disparition des immenses bancs, qui formaient jadis, tout le long de nos côtes, un cordon presque ininterrompu, est née l’ostréiculture, une des plus belles industries de notre pays.”