Biosecurity issues to be addressed at Oban event
The ASSG is currently in fast forward mode with preparations for our annual shellfish conference, to be held in Oban from October 22-23. The shellfish world is not really large enough to support two simultaneous conferences so to find our meeting coinciding with not one but two parallel events is an unfortunate state of affairs.
The ASSG conference was forced to change dates due to Oban hosting the ational Mod at the time of the early neap tides in October, our usual slot.
But we now clash with both the European Aquaculture Society’s annual get together, which will be heavily geared towards shellfish under the leadership of Professor Aad Smaal, while over in Cape Cod there will be the World Oyster Congress.
evertheless, the ASSG has in place a programme of direct relevance and interest to shellfish growers, policy makers and regulators and bookings can be made at our website www.assg.org.uk .
The conference will be opened by Scottish environment minister Dr Aileen McLeod, encouraging proof of the support the Scottish government wishes to provide to the industry.
The ASSG could not run such an event on an annual basis without the support of our sponsors and we are extremely grateful to the Crown Estate, Seafish, and Scottish atural Heritage.
Equally, Highlands and Islands Enterprise are once more sponsoring the prizes of Richard Bramble designed and commissioned ceramic plates for the Best Scottish Shellfish competition winners.
The notification by Marine Scotland Fish Health Inspectorate of the removal of the approved zone status for the Reculver shellfish hatchery in Whitstable, Kent, on the basis of the presence of oyster herpes virus (OHs) in the area is of huge import for the UK shellfish industry as a whole.
The situation appears to be that while no OHs has been detected in the hatchery facility itself, the area from which it draws its seawater supply has become contaminated with OHs.
The immediate consideration is where does this leave Pacific oyster seed supply into Scotland for the next and following years
While there are currently two other hatcheries, both of which remain within approved zones and are capable of supplying Scottish producers, Guernsey Sea Farms and Morecambe Bay Oysters, what is needed is improved planning and forward ordering on Winners of the 2014 shellfish awards the event in Oban