[7 September/ Stuff]

The Ministry for Primary Industries ordered the removal of ten Marlborough Sounds farms to control the spread of Bonamia ostreae which threatened Bluff oysters in July. 220 tonnes of oysters and farm equipment have been ripped out of the Marlborough Sounds to eradicate the parasite. A local oyster farmer said it would be years until the industry was back to full strength. The majority of farms had been removed and buried at Blenheim’s Bluegum Landfill. Small quantities of live oysters remained in the water, and a decision was still being made as to whether they would also need to be removed. Provisions for compensation exist under the Biosecurity Act 1993. Some oysters had been left in the water as the ministry assessed a resilience breeding programme put forward by aquaculture industry representatives.