Oysters are defenseless but can science save them

Viral attack on defenseless oysters is common in Europe

Oysters are now being destroyed in Europe. But can they be saved by science & technology?

In southwest France, oyster growers say they’ve valid reason to fear for their livelihoods.

Viral attack defenseless oysters

Viral attack defenseless oysters

Some of those afflicted is Gérald Viaud, an oyster farmer in the area, who said: “The oyster farming period is 3 to 4 years. We experience death rates as high as 80 or 90 percent throughout the first-year, when oysters are extremely small. Death rates are between 10 to 15 percent within the second-year. After which 30 to 40 percent within the next year. At the conclusion of the period, we could hardly offer one-out of each 10 farmed oysters.”

Oysters are defenseless but can science save them

Oysters are defenseless but can science save them

Researchers in an European research study want to identify and neutralise the challenging oyster murders. Researchers have analyzed the role played three bacteria, by one disease plus one parasite. They’ve learned how oysters are affected by the infections. Plus they state that defending such susceptible creatures is definately not straightforward.

oysters are farmed in a complex open location, with multiple environmental factors

oysters are farmed in a complex open location, with multiple environmental factors

Tristan Renault, IFREMER Bivalife project manager and a professional doctor, explained: “A vaccination isn’t feasible for seafood. Bivalves are invertebrate animals. As-is the situation in people or land farm animals”, they lack the antibodies which are triggered through vaccination.

Many possible options are now being analyzed. Probably the most encouraging, despite being a slower method, is crossing-over, scientists say and natural selection.

“In oyster communities, there might be stronger and healthier people. They are able to protect themselves better against viral infections. So ultimately we’ll perhaps cross-on the stronger individuals to acquire entire groups of more resistant people,” Renault claimed.

Unlike land farm animals, oysters are farmed in a sophisticated open area, with numerous environmental factors which are hard to manage, including sea water temperature, salinity, acid and… pollution.

Jean-Paul Lopez, an oyster farmer, said: “You possess the disease however there’s also pollution. Nitrates, pesticides, fertilizer: everything results in the sea. After which waste-water from treatment plants that doesn’t always adhere to standards.”

“Oysters grow in an open environment. Here for example we’re understanding the role that the mixture of 12 pesticides are playing for making virus agents more controversial and oysters much more prone to their strike,” included Renault, IFREMER Bivalife project manager.

“We, the oyster growers, positively need more research done about the quality of the surroundings, of the deposit as well as the water. We have to understand how to better manage our entire environment,” said oyster farmer Gérald Viaud.

Regardless of the harsh reality, both scientists and oyster growers will not submit.

“I was twenty years old when I experienced the prior trend of massive deaths within the field. If I hadn’t been an optimist then, currently at 63 yrs old I wouldn’t be available. I’m likely to continue fighting for oyster farming. Our kids still work available. I really wish that my grandchildren may one day also use us within the household oyster business,” described Viaud.

Extra information about the research study can be obtained online on established website of task.

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