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Title: Disease management strategies for shellfish aquaculture: the important role of hatcheries

item GOMEZ-CHIARRI, MARTA - University Of Rhode Island
item ROWLEY, DAVID - University Of Rhode Island
item NELSON, DAVID - University Of Rhode Island
item Proestou, Dina
item FRANK-LAWALE, ANU - Virginia Institute Of Marine Science
item ALLEN, STANDISH - Virginia Institute Of Marine Science
item GUO, XIMING - Rutgers University
item RAWSON, PAUL - University Of Maine

Submitted to: Journal of Shellfish Research
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/2014
Publication Date: 8/1/2014
Citation: Gomez-Chiarri, M., Rowley, D., Nelson, D., Proestou, D.A., Frank-Lawale, A., Allen, S., Guo, X., Rawson, P. 2014. Disease management strategies for shellfish aquaculture: the important role of hatcheries. Journal of Shellfish Research. 33(2):554.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Disease management is a critical component of the successful production of bivalves. Infections by bacterial pathogens can cause rapid mortality of shellfish larvae with devastating consequences for both the hatcheries and the farmers that rely upon them. Furthermore, several bacterial and parasitic pathogens can cause large-scale mortalities in juvenile and adult oysters. The impact of these diseases varies regionally and may be exacerbated by changes in water quality and local environmental conditions resulting from climate change. An effective integrated health management plan for shellfish production starts at the hatcheries, which are responsible for producing hardy and healthy seed for grow-out facilities. Key disease management strategies include the use of disease-resistant strains as well as a plethora of husbandry strategies geared to avoid the exposure of shellfish larvae to pathogens or increase the resilience of larvae to environmental stress and pathogen exposure. We will discuss the relevance to shellfish hatcheries of recent research in two areas: 1) breeding for disease resistance in oysters, and 2) probiotics. Recent research on the performance of several disease-resistant oysters in locations from Virginia to Maine suggest local adaptation of selectively-bred oyster lines to the site of origin and a need for the development of regional breeding programs. Probiotics have been shown to decrease the levels of vibrios in oyster larval tanks and increase the survival of oyster larvae and juveniles challenged with bacterial pathogens. These strategies could help minimize the impact of infectious diseases in shellfish hatcheries and provide hardy seed for shellfish grow-out.