Marine blue mussel,  Mytilus edulis  (wikipedia image)

Marine blue mussel, Mytilus edulis (wikipedia image)

WG3: SHellfish health and disease

lead by:
dr chris hauton (university of southampton)
dr christopher coates (SWANSEA UNIVERSITY)


Globally, recurrent disease outbreaks in aquaculture represent a major constraint and risk to the growth of shellfish and crustacean aquaculture sectors, significantly impeding both economic and socio-economic development in regions dependent on aquaculture and fisheries. It has long been recognised that the manifestation of disease in organisms requires the interaction of a host and pathogen within a permissive environment. The sustainable development of UK shellfish aquaculture is, in part, reliant on a mechanistic understanding of these host-pathogen-environment interactions, both for existing and emerging pathogens in a changing marine climate. This WG will consider the research required to understand the risks of disease to shellfish health.

Key areas for this WG to expore:

a)     Identify the research needed to assess the impacts of culture practice (e.g. location, stock density, environmental parameters) on the health (viz: immune function) of UK marine shellfish species.

b)     With WG7, consider the impacts of a changing climate on shellfish immune function and on the virulence of existing viral (e.g. oyster herpes virus [OsHV1]), bacterial (e.g. Vibrio spp.) and protozoan pathogens (e.g. Bonamia ostreae).

c)     Identify research to fully quantify the risk of exotic and notifiable disease transmission (e.g. Bonamia exitiosa, Marteillia refringens, WSSV, TSV) to the UK, as well as potential wild species reservoirs of infection for exotic or emergent disease.

d)    Consider the research requirements to quantify the risk of infectious exotic or emergent disease from invasive species associated with global shipping or marine migrations in a changing climate.