• Hannah Phillips

Oyster Virus Detected in SA

Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) virus has been detected in feral Pacific Oysters in the Port River, according to Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA).

At this stage, POMS has not been detected in South Australian oyster farming areas.

With many of the state's key oyster farming areas within the Flow regions, Wayne had details on the Mid Morning Show.

POMS was detected in the Port River area when samples were taken during routine surveillance, with additional testing carried out by the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (based in Geelong) confirming the results on February 28. To reduce the risk of POMS spreading, PIRSA has implemented a ban on the removal of all bivalve shellfish organisms (oysters, mussels, cockles, razorfish) from the Port River, including West Lakes, until further notice.

No Bivalve Shellfish can be taken from the entire Port River and West Lakes for any purpose including bait or berley. Fishers and boat operators can help stop the spread of POMS by following these steps:

  • Before leaving the Port River area ensure vessel hulls are clean. Remove plants and animals from fishing and boating equipment and clothing so you don’t transfer pests and diseases to other waterways.

  • Where possible, wash boats and equipment with light household detergent, rinse with tap water without letting the water drain into waterways, and importantly dry completely before moving to another waterway.

  • Bivalves cannot be taken from the Port River for any purpose including bait or berley.

  • Never use seafood sold for human consumption as bait or berley.

PIRSA will continue to work with the oyster industry, recreational fishers, and owners of vessels to minimise the risk of the virus spreading. More information is available on the PIRSA website, with the organisation reminding people the virus poses no threat to food safety or human health; recreational Port River users are not at any risk.

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