POMS – Technical visit to New Zealand

POMS – Technical visit to New Zealand 

27-29 March 2012


The recent emergence of ostreid herpesvirus (OsHV1 μ-var) in both Australia and New Zealand requires a coordinated international discussion in order to understand possible sources and means of control. The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (Australia) hosted a meeting in Cairns from 9-10 July 2011 to explore the known aspects of the disease. This meeting was attended by scientists, government agencies and oyster growers from both countries. A second opportunity for discussion was provided by the 4th International Oyster Symposium in Hobart from 15-18 September 2011, and this meeting also enabled oyster growers from New Zealand to visit farms in Australia. Finally, a delegation of oyster industry representatives funded by FRDC toured POMS-affected areas in France in 2011 and prepared a detailed report for the Australian industry.

Research on management strategies to continue to farm oysters in the presence of POMS commenced in Australia in September 2011 under FRDC project 2011-053. The results from this project are novel and offer some insights into future approaches. Some work is believed also to have been undertaken on-farm in New Zealand. There is now a good opportunity for an exchange of results and ideas so that larger-scale research can commence in the summer of 2012-2013, building on the best ideas from current trials.

 Technical visit

A technical visit to New Zealand was proposed by Professor Whittington in January 2012 and will be funded by the University of Sydney and private funds. Mr Jim Dollimore kindly offered to coordinate the visit.

Purpose of visit:

To visit oyster farmers, scientists and other industry people to see how OsHV-1 is being managed in New Zealand, to discuss the Australian approach, and also results from current research in Australia, and to explore future research and management approaches.

Host and local arrangements:

Mr Jim Dollimore, Biomarine New Zealand

Attendees from Australia:

Professor Richard Whittington (Chair of Farm Animal Health, University of Sydney) ; Dr Ika Paul-Pont (Research Fellow Environmental Immunology, University of Sydney) ; Mr John Stubbs (Oyster grower representing Broken Bay Oysters – Hawkesbury River, Sydney) ; Mr Steve Jones (Oyster grower – Hawkesbury River, Sydney)

Intended outcome from visit

A brief report prepared by Professor Whittington, Dr Paul-Pont, Mr Stubbs and Mr Jones under the auspices of the University: New Zealand POMS visit – Final report

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