Researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and the Rutgers Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory (HSRL) joined with scientific colleagues, shellfish farmers, and government officials in October to explore options for improving management of oyster and clam diseases along the East Coast of the U.S., in light of the region’s rapidly growing aquaculture industry.
The partners met at VIMS’ Gloucester Point campus for a two-day workshop whose goal, says VIMS Research Associate Professor Ryan Carnegie, was to “identify strategies for a regional, science-based approach to shellfish management, one that facilitates interstate commerce while minimizing health risks to cultured and wild populations.” Carnegie directs the Shellfish Pathology Lab at VIMS, which performs dozens of health evaluations for industry each year.
Health risks to shellfish include oyster diseases such as MSX, SSO, and Dermo; as well as the clam disease QPX. These diseases don’t affect humans, but they do threaten the health of infected shellfish (both farmed and wild), and the operations and profitability of shellfish growers.
Carnegie co-hosted the event with David Bushek, director of HSRL, VIMS colleague Karen Hudson, Rutgers New Jersey Sea Grant Aquaculture Progam Coordinator Lisa Calvo, and USDA’s Lori Gustafson and Lynn Creekmore of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services (APHIS VS). [Read more…]