19 Dec 2013

New lab boosts oyster virus research

8:30 am on 19 December 2013

Efforts to breed Pacific oysters that are resilient to a deadly herpes virus are being hailed as a success.

The Cawthron Institute of Nelson has built a laboratory at an aquaculture park to help researchers tackle the ostreid herpes virus.

Three years ago, the virus caused massive losses in the wild-caught spat population, leading to job losses and factory closures and an overall drop in production of up to 60%.

New Zealand Oyster Industry Association president Jim Dollimore says the Cawthron Institute's effort in conserving the oysters through several growing cycles is helping the industry survive the disease.