Irish oyster farmers discuss disease control

Oyster farmers from around Ireland have met to discuss disease control Photo: BIM Oyster farmers from around Ireland have met to discuss disease control Photo: BIM
Industry Database

The Marine Institute's Fish Health Unit has held a meeting on Pacific Oyster health to discuss the latest research and knowledge on oyster diseases.

The event attracted more than 80 participants from Ireland's oyster farming industry, as well as representatives from Ireland's Seafood Development Agency, Bord Iascaigh Mhara.

Presentations focused on mortality, disease management and current research in oyster health. Oyster mortalities in recent years in Ireland have been mainly associated with either Ostreid herpes virus-1 μVar (OsHV-1 μVar) infection or the bacterium Vibrio aestuarianus. Both diseases cause significant oyster mortality events and an economic loss to oyster farmers and producers.

Researchers from the Marine Institute and University College Cork presented the major findings from the RESPOSUS project, funded by the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine's FIRM programme. The three year project focused on reducing the impact of pathogens associated with mortalities in Pacific oysters.

French Institute IFREMER also presented the latest results from the VIVALDI project (Preventing and Migrating Farmed Bivalve Diseases) funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. VIVALDI aims to better understand shellfish diseases and improve the sustainability and competitiveness of the European shellfish industry. The Marine Institute is one of 21 partners involved in this research project.

Industry representatives from Ireland also shared their experience of managing losses in shellfish production. This feedback, along with research presented, will be used to update the current best practice guide for disease control in Ireland's oyster industry.

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