N.Z. Oyster Industry Threatened by Shellfish Deaths, Post Says

Thousands of New Zealand oysters have died in harbors on the country’s North Island, threatening the nation’s NZ$30 million industry, the Dominion Post reported.

About 80 percent of harbors where oysters are grown in marine farms have been hit by large numbers of unexplained deaths of the shellfish, the newspaper said today, citing New Zealand Oyster Industry Association Chairman Callum McCallum.

As many as half of oysters scheduled for next year’s harvest and 10 percent of mature oysters have died, McCallum said, according to the Post. Restrictions have been placed on the movement of oysters into unaffected farms, he said.

While deaths may have resulted from disease, officials don’t know what was causing the problem, the newspaper reported, citing an unidentified industry source.