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“A broad range of disease causing and potential disease causing agents have been recorded in pearl oysters. Notable examples of diseases and their catastrophic social and economic consequences include Akoya oyster disease syndrome, mortalities associated with dinoflagellate blooms, invasion of shell by polychaetes and sponges, and mass mortality events. A sound understanding of the occurrence, distribution and prevalence of infectious agents, and the nature of noninfectious and environmental factors that may impact adversely on the production and management of pearl oysters is a pre-requisite on which to develop sound industry practice. The pearl oyster has limited capacity to respond to disease or to produce signs referable to specific disease states or conditions, and the examination of living, farmed oysters presents difficulties. An assessment of the general nutritional condition of the body and mantle of the oyster may assist in the evaluation of disease states. Shell disease is characterized by the deposition of a yellow-brown organic matrix on the nacreous surface of the shell valves. Deposits may be focal, generalized, nodular or flattened and are commonly associated with retraction of the mantle. The occurrence of disease in pearl farming situations can be minimized through appropriate husbandry conditions and as a result of disease outbreaks, pearl industries have often developed more appropriate culture practices designed to minimize the chance of further disease outbreaks”. John D.Humphrey

Website: www.pearloysteralliance.org

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One Response

  1. So much of this comes down to good husbandry – like Barbara’s talk on animals health (Aquatic Animal Health Specialist, IMAS) where there’s the host, the environment, and the pathogen. Remove one of them, and there’s no disease. Disease is usually heavily host (i.e., husbandry) + environment, dinoflagellates rarely cause any impact on the oysters themselves (although we do have some recorded impacts here in TAS with insanely high PST-producing blooms), polychaetas are usually poor husbandry (stocking densities too high and less-than-optimal handing –> so important for biofouling and pests). Bottom line: If we improve oyster health and wellbeing, impacts can often be minimised.

    Share thoughts by thinkific
    “Dr Sarah Ugalde – Research Fellow (Shellfish Aquaculture-University of Tasmania)

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