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Disease resistant oyster gives hope to producers

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Eighteen months after enduring a crippling outbreak of Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome, producers in the region are fighting to get back on their feet.

In January 2013, 20 percent of the local industry was affected by the outbreak, with thestate government offering assistance to farmers, many of whom had their stocks for the year completely wiped out.

According to the Department of Primary Industries, the 2013 outbreak destroyed 10 million oysters, the equivalent of $6 million, and saw the number of producers in the Hawkesbury region drop from 15 to three.

Oyster farmer Bruce Alford told the ABC the Department of Primary Industries is working on a disease resistant Pacific oyster, due to be released in 2018.

A research team comprising veterinary virologist Paul Hick, Professor Richard Whittington and Alford is currently studying the disease and how it expresses itself.

Image: news.net

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