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Virus and Flood Shatters Oyster Industry

AUSTRALIA - Oyster farmers on the NSW Mid-North Coast have been dealt a cruel double blow, with raging floodwaters washing away the valuable crop they were unable to harvest because of a virus.

The NSW Food Authority closed the Kalang River at Urunga in August while a search was made for norovirus, which causes gastroenteritis in humans, writes Denis Gregory for Sydney Morning Herald.

According to the report, it was believed to have come from a sewage discharge. Now floodwaters have wiped out most of the river's oyster leases, causing damage estimated at hundreds of thousands of dollars. Grower John Lindsay said it had been bad enough being prevented from harvesting oysters that were ready for sale.

"But at least we still had them," he told Sydney Morning Herald. "Now I've not only lost the mature oysters that we were unable to harvest but also most of the younger ones."

"I've lost probably $100,000 in stock and damage to infrastructure, a quarter of which the flood has wrecked.

the Fish Site Editor

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