No sign of parasite in wild oysters

Bonamia ostreae can be fatal for flat oysters. It has been in New Zealand since at least 2015,...
Bonamia ostreae can be fatal for flat oysters. It has been in New Zealand since at least 2015, when it was detected in the Marlborough Sounds and Nelson. Photo: File

There are no signs of Bonamia ostreae parasite after the most recent tests of a wild oyster fishery in Bluff.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) director of readiness and response Geoff Gwyn said the test was a part of its surveillance programme for the parasite.

“The results suggest the removal of farmed oysters from Big Glory Bay and Marlborough was the right thing to do in terms of reducing risk of the parasite spreading to the wild oyster populations.

“This is great news for the local industry and everyone involved in the response,” said Mr Gwyn.

All flat farmed oysters were removed from Big Glory Bay and Marlborough to prevent the spreading of the parasite which was previously discovered in the waters off Stuart Island in May this year.

The latest surveillance test came back clear after the affected fisheries and other areas that had not been surveyed before were checked.

“Continued surveillance will ensure the ministry can move quickly if a new infection appears in the future,” says Mr Gwyn.

Foveaux Strait fisheries had their surveillance frequencies increased from three to six months by the MPI.

Bonamia ostreae can be fatal for flat oysters. It has been in New Zealand since at least 2015, when it was detected in the Marlborough Sounds and Nelson.

MPI and Stewart Island farmers completed the removal of oyster lines from Big Glory Bay on 6 September. Removal operations in Marlborough are continuing.

 

 

 

 

 

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