[10 June/Radio NZ]

The Ministry for Primary Industries is ordering a cull of farmed oysters on Stewart Island to stop the spread of bonamia ostreae, a parasite lethal to shellfish, to wild stocks. The Bluff oyster industry called for a complete cull, believing it is the only way of stopping the infection from reaching Foveaux Strait wild stocks. However, Oyster Farmer Rodney Clark said the current plan would be ineffective, as both wild and farmed flat oysters need to be removed to eliminate the parasite which could take years. Mr Clark said this is because billions of litres of water would have carried the parasite out of Big Glory Bay.