Scottish Shellfish Farm Production Survey 2014

This report is based on the returns of an annual survey questionnaire sent to all active authorised shellfish farming businesses in Scotland.


In accordance with Council Directive 2006/88/EC, a risk based surveillance programme targeting 111 shellfish site inspections was undertaken during 2014. On these visits, facilities, stock health, bio-security measures plans, movement records and details required for authorisation were checked. In addition, native oysters were sampled from seven farm sites, and four wild beds, for the notifiable diseases bonamiasis (causative agent, protozoan parasite Bonamia ostreae) and marteiliasis (causative agent, protozoan parasite Marteilia refringens). Results were negative. Native oyster is a species known to be susceptible to these shellfish diseases. Movement restrictions placed due to confirmation of the presence of Bonamia ostrea, remained in force in Loch Sunart and in West Loch Tarbert, Argyll during 2014. These movement restrictions covering both sea lochs prevent the relaying of native oyster from them ( see Appendix 2, p.20 for maps of areas under movement restrictions). Approved zone status for bonamiasis, marteiliasis and Ostreid Herpes Virus-1 Microvariant (OsHV-1 µvar) continued to protect the health of both wild and farmed susceptible shellfish stocks for the remainder of Scotland's waters.

Most of the reported mortalities were attributed to: predation from wild ducks, starfish, crabs and oyster catchers; fouling by sea squirts; adverse weather conditions including storms and temperature extremes; damage due to grading and handling and from natural causes. Reports of high, unexplained shellfish mortalities generated one shellfish diagnostic case during 2014, at a site holding mussels. Results of diagnostic investigations showed no association with listed (notifiable) diseases. It is the responsibility of shellfish farmers to inform Marine Scotland of any abnormal or unexplained shellfish mortality on their sites ( see guidance on shellfish mortality in appendix 1, p.14-19).

In 2014 there was a continued demand for imported mussel seed into Scotland to supplement the vagaries in natural settlement. The industry should be aware of the increased disease risk with the introduction, movement and deposit of stock on site and the importance of ensuring good bio-security practices when sourcing shellfish from other areas.

In March 2010 Commission Regulation No. 175/2010 was introduced to implement Council Directive 2006/88/EC as regards measures to control increased mortality in Pacific oysters, in connection with the detection of OsHV-1 µvar.

Following completion of a targeted surveillance programme, the UK has been granted disease free status for OsHV-1 μvar (Decision 2014/12/EU). This includes the territory of Great Britain except Whitstable Bay (Kent), Blackwater estuary (Essex), River Crouch (Essex) and Poole Harbour (Dorset). In addition, Guernsey and the territory of Northern Ireland (except Dundrum Bay, Killough Bay, Lough Foyle, Carlingford Lough and Strangford Lough) have also been granted disease free status for OsHV-1 µvar. Movements of Pacific oysters into an area recognised as free from OsHV-1 µvar must originate from another disease free area. Movements are still allowed from disease free areas to non-approved areas.


Back to top