Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


New laboratory to boost oyster virus research

media release

FOR IMMEDIATE USE

New laboratory to boost oyster virus research

A new purpose-built laboratory at Cawthron Aquaculture Park near Nelson, has further boosted a long-term research programme to breed Pacific oysters resilient to a virus that devastated New Zealand’s oyster industry three years ago.

Scientists at Cawthron Institute, together with industry partners, have been working towards breeding Pacific oysters resilient to the ostreid herpes (OsHV-1) since the virus hit in 2010, almost wiping out the country’s Pacific oyster stocks.

“This year we’ve boosted our existing facilities to include a laboratory dedicated solely to oyster virus research,” Cawthron’s Cultured Shellfish Programme Leader Nick King says. “This facility will allow our team of scientists working on the programme to have a dedicated space for investigating both survival and growth of our oyster families, so we can identify the best performers to make available for industry for production in 2015.”

New Zealand Oyster Industry Association President, Jim Dollimore of BioMarine Ltd, says the industry greatly appreciates Cawthron’s support and efforts.

“When the crisis first hit Cawthron immediately took big steps to resolve the issue for the breeding programme that they had been involved in with industry for about a decade,” Mr Dollimore says. “They took a pro-active stance and committed whatever time and investment was necessary to save the programme and help the industry survive the crisis. This saved several growing cycles which was extremely important to an industry faced with large loss of production.”

Cawthron Aquaculture Group Manager, Dr Jacquie Reed, says supporting the New Zealand oyster industry’s aim of $100 million in exports by 2025 is a major focus for Cawthron and “we see the next two to five years being a key focus on Pacific oysters to help them achieve that goal”.

“This is a world-wide problem and it’s a race against time to rebuild the oyster industry internationally. Ours is a long-term breeding programme and there are no quick-fixes, but we are putting every effort in to help our oyster industry get back to full production.”

Cawthron scientists have been researching the resilience of Pacific oysters to the virus since 2010 when it first hit New Zealand. The virus caused significant losses in the wild caught spat the industry heavily relied on for its marine farm stocks. The crisis led to job losses, factory closures and saw an overall drop in production of 50 to 60 percent, with some individual farmers hit significantly harder. Cawthron’s oyster research is carried out in collaboration with industry partners including Pacific Marine Farms - a subsidiary of Aotearoa Fisheries Limited, and Te Matuku Bay Oysters, who together manage the bulk of the on-farm trials.

“The combination of the high-level research and scientific expertise residing at Cawthron, and the pragmatic farming and product knowledge brought by the Pacific oyster industry, has enabled a good start in the journey towards breeding and growing an oyster with a significant degree of resilience to the virus,” Pacific Marine Farms General Manager, Don Collier, says.  “We are hopeful that by the end of 2014 some concrete progress towards that objective will become apparent. Both Cawthron and its industry partners have committed whole heartedly to the journey with the new laboratory investment being the latest example  of that.”

Nick King says the second generation of healthy oysters from the breeding programme will be dispatched on to farms in the Northland area in the New Year, “and we’ll be measuring their success throughout 2014”.

“Our ultimate goal is to find the best families that can survive and grow during the shoulder seasons when the virus is most active. We’re hoping by the end of 2014 to have identified even more resilient families than we have right now, it’s all about compounding those good, healthy traits so eventually we end up with virus resilient oysters.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: Equity Crowd Funding Carries Risks, High Failure Rate

Equity crowd funding, which became legal in New Zealand this month, comes with a high risk of failure based on figures showing existing forays into social capital have a success rate of less than 50 percent, one new entrant says. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Migration Rises To 11-Year High In March

The country gained a seasonally adjusted 3,800 net new migrants in March, the most since February 2003, said Statistics New Zealand. A net 400 people left for Australia in March, down from 600 in February, according to seasonally adjusted figures. More>>

ALSO:

Hugh Pavletich: New Zealand’s Bubble Economy Is Vulnerable

The recent Forbes e-edition article by Jesse Colombo assesses the New Zealand economy “ 12 Reasons Why New Zealand's Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster ”, seems to have created quite a stir, creating extensive media coverage in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Thursday Market Close: Genesis Debut Sparks Energy Rally

New Zealand stock rose after shares in the partially privatised Genesis Energy soared as much as 18 percent in its debut listing on the NZX, buoying other listed energy companies in the process. Meridian Energy, MightyRiverPower, Contact Energy and TrustPower paced gains. More>>

ALSO:

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Houses (& Tobacco) Lead Inflation: CPI Up 0.3% In March Quarter

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the March 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Higher tobacco and housing prices were partly countered by seasonally cheaper international air fares, vegetables, and package holidays. More>>

ALSO:

Notoriously Reliable Predictions: Budget To Show Rise In Full-Time Income To 2018: English

This year’s Budget will forecast wage increases through to 2018 amounting to a $10,500 a year increase in average full time earnings over six years to $62,200 a year, says Finance Minister Bill English in a speech urging voters not to “put all of this at risk” by changing the government. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news