Oyster Herpes: Are warmer waters inviting mollusk std’s?
I didn’t realize that oysters were so promiscuous but apparently the increase in ocean temps may be helping to spread a virulent strain of herpes that is killing large numbers of oysters in some regions of Europe. Scientists can only speculate that “global warming” could be the reason for up to 100% mortality rates in some oyster beds in France in the past few years. According to the National Geographic Daily News, “The virus has already killed between 20 to 100 percent of breeding Pacific oysters in some French beds in 2008, 2009, and 2010, according to the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer).”
And now, as of July, the virus has turned up in UK waters. This is devastating news when one considers that an entire oyster bed can be reduced by 80% in as little as a week by oyster herpes. Ouch! And I’m not talking about open sores here.
The good news is that scientists don’t feel there is much threat of the disease spreading to US oysters as the US doesn’t import oysters as a rule. The bad news, and sorry to be the bearer of it, is that if terrorists wanted to destroy a vital sector of our fishing industry, it appears it may not be very difficult.
But don’t let me give you any ideas.
Click here for National Geographic article.