High morality rate in Pacific oyster stocks due to a virus forced fisheries inspectors to ban the movement of oysters from parts of Kent coast.
An incurable Oyster Herpes virus type 1 (OsHV-1) has been found in shellfish. It is reported that a form of herpes ravaged shellfish stocks at Whitstable farm.
The Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science said it was important to restrict the infected oysters as they could hit oyster production in other areas.
Speaking on the issue, the Centre said, "It could be devastating for oyster production in other areas, for instance the south coast, so it's really important that we contain the disease.”
Earlier, the outbreak of the concerned virus destroyed stocks in Ireland and France. The disease was reported in Jersey also in 2009.
The OsHV-1 only affects Pacific oysters and poses no threat to native oyster species. Infected oysters start emitting a pungent odour; however, it is not harmful to human beings.
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