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PROJECT: 2016/804

Advanced understanding of POMS to guide farm management decisions in Tasmania

WHY WAS THE RESEARCH UNDERTAKEN?

This research investigates the effects of farm management practices on oyster survival in POMS affected areas in Tasmania and was undertaken in close collaboration with industry to scientifically assess observations and views held by oyster growers about how their farming methods were influencing POMS mortalities.

WHAT ARE THE MAJOR FINDINGS/OUTCOMES SO FAR?

  • Water temperatures, generally above 19-20 °C are required to activate the virus, although mortalities differ between locations and between sites within growing areas. 

  • Mortalities showed no clear differences between age/size groups, and chilling had no effect; however, mortalities were higher in unchallenged than pre-exposed oysters.

  • Increased mortalities were also recorded in oysters at higher densities and in those not handled over summer compared with those handled monthly.

HOW IMPORTANT WILL THESE FINDINGS BE IMPORTANT TO INDUSTRY?

This research is still in progress as data have not been analysed and qPCR results of viral concentrations have not been received. These findings are important to industry as they provide a scientifically robust evaluation of  current farming practices in POMS affected areas. These trials were conducted on-farm in close collaboration with growers.

Please see video below for the research summary.

PROJECT INVESTIGATORS

Dr Christine Crawford is a Senior Research Fellow within the IMAS Fisheries and Aquaculture Centre, with over thirty years' experience in aquaculture and environmental research, both in Australia and overseas. She led the Marine Environment (later Natural Resource Management) Section at TAFI and has been involved in many research projects exploring the interaction between human activities and the estuarine environment. She has received the Vice-Chancellors Award for outstanding community engagement and has participated in various state and national committees on marine environmental issues. Currently Dr Crawford's research is concentrated on proving environmental information to support the management of the Tasmanian salmon and oyster aquaculture industries.

UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA

CHRISTINE CRAWFORD

Email: Christine.Crawford@utas.edu.au                                                          Phone: (03) 6226 8224

Senior Research Fellow