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Deadly parasite attacks Welsh shellfish

UK - Measures to control the movement of molluscan shellfish from the River Cleddau, Milford Haven and adjacent coastal waters, have been put in place because the parasite Bonamia ostreae has been found in a wild bed of native oysters.

Moluscan shellfish include oysters, clams, mussels and scallops. Bonamia is widespread in native oysters in continental Europe. It also occurs in some oyster growing areas in England. Controls have prevented further spread of the disease in England and Wales since 1993 until now. This is the first occurrence of the disease in Wales.

Fish Health Inspectors from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) in Weymouth have confirmed that Bonamia was present in native oyster samples taken from Burton Beach in the River Cleddau in late April of this year.

Senior Shellfish Health Inspector at Cefas, Ian Laing, said: "Bonamia has no implications for human health, but it is a serious disease that affects native oysters. It does not have any clinical effect on any other species of shellfish.

Source: NewsWales