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Weekly Overview: New Test Detects Disease Harming Oyster Aquaculture Industry

11 June 2013

ANALYSIS - Oyster farmers in the US are set to benefit from a new test that detects the toxin secreted by Vibrio tubiashii, a bacterial disease that a few years ago caused millions of dollars in losses to the oyster aquaculture industry in the Pacific Northwest, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.

Scientists from Oregon State University have developed the inexpensive test which uses a 'dipstick' method.

When perfected and commercialised, the new test should give oyster growers an early warning system to tell when they have a problem with high levels of this toxin and must take quick steps to address it. At high levels the toxin kills tiny seed oysters before they have a chance to grow.

Besides oysters, this bacteria and toxin can also affect shrimp, clams and other marine species important to aquaculture.

Marine Harvest is facing fierce opposition from the Board of Cermaq over its offer for the company.

Last week, Marine Harvest announced it was lowering the required acceptance level for Cermaq to 33.4 per cent.

Although Marine Harvest has so far received substantial support for its intention to combine the two companies, the Board of Cermaq continues to be strongly against the acquisition.

The Board stated that the offer undervalues the company and there are still questions around the plan of a combined company.

As a result, shareholders are being urged not to accept the offer and to await potential alternative solutions instead.

The outcome of the deal now lies with shareholders.

In fisheries news, the EU has strengthened its shark fining ban. Loopholes have now being closed meaning sharks must be landed with their fins still attached.


Lucy Towers

Lucy Towers
News Team - Editor

After graduating from The University of Sheffield, Lucy joined 5M in 2011 as part of the News Desk team. In 2012, she was promoted to editor of TheFishSite. With previous farming experience and a love for the great outdoors, Lucy has a passion for wildlife and the environment.

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