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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2014 14/SF/820 UCC, (MI, NUIG) €592,141

Project Title:

Reducing the impact of Pathogens and disease in the Irish Oyster industry to support the sustainability and growth of the sector

Project Coordinator:

Dr Sarah Culloty

Project Abstract

Food Harvest 2020 forecasts a 78% increase in aquaculture volume production in Ireland by 2020. The shellfish industry is an important part of this sector with the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas being the main oyster species produced. The aims of this study are to ameliorate the impact of pathogens and disease in the Irish oyster industry that are threatening our ability to reach these targets. Since 2008, mortalities occurring in Ireland have been associated with a newly emerged herpesvirus variant. Since 2012, pathogenic strains of the bacterium Vibrio aesturianus have also been identified in Irish oysters having already caused mortalities in France. In this study, the role of these pathogens in mortality events will be investigated through field surveys at several culture sites. Any pathogens identified will be characterized using molecular based studies and pathogenicity investigated using diagnostic techniques and laboratory trials. The role of environment and other hosts at culture sites will be determined to help inform management. Modified husbandry methods to help reduce mortalities and other control methods such as the use of antiviral compounds will be assessed. Policy guidelines will be produced to help reduce the impact of losses in this industry, ultimately helping to grow the sector.

Final Report:

Not available yet.