Port Stephens oyster deaths
Juliet Corish, NSW DPI Biosecurity
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The NSW Department of Primary Industries Biosecurity experts are continuing to investigate mortalities in farmed Pacific oysters in the Port Stephens estuary. Significant efforts are being made by animal health professionals at the Department’s Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute (EMAI) to continue to exclude POMS as a cause of the mortalities from over 54 laboratory submissions. From submissions to date there’s been no evidence found of the involvement of any single infectious or transmissible agent.
The Department is continuing to investigate and a transmission trial will be conducted during February to March 2014. The aim of this trial is determine whether there is any likelihood of a transmissible agent being involved with the mortalities. Results to date suggest that many factors may be involved in causing the mortalities including environmental stressors. The Department will continue to work closely with affected farmers and communicate findings to the NSW oyster industry.