Threat to oyster stocks after herpes outbreak
Published 24/07/2010 | 05:00
AN outbreak of the herpes virus in oysters could be potentially "devastating" for stocks of the shellfish, experts warned yesterday.
Samples taken from the Pacific oyster species harvested off Kent, have tested positive for OsHV-1 virus (Oyster Herpesvirus type 1), a spokeswoman for the UK Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) said.
It is the first time the virus has been detected in the UK. The movement of oysters has now been banned in the area in a bid to contain the outbreak.
Cefas said the virus, which has no cure, had caused huge numbers of oyster deaths in Ireland, France and Jersey but there were no implications for human health.