shellfish farming

Discovery will revolutionize oyster farming worldwide

Shellfish expert to share discovery on how to “disease-proof” oysters at Seafood Expo 2018

By SeawestNews

Ocean acidification caused by climate change is recognized as a key threat to shellfish populations and sustainable shellfish farming in BC.

It is for this reason, that Dr. Timothy Green, Vancouver Island University’s (VIU’s) new Canada Research Chair in Shellfish Health and Genomics (pictured), is developing a new method to breed shellfish that are resilient to climate change and disease.

Dr. Green has already delved deep into research based on addressing how to “disease-proof” oysters against herpesvirus infection. Through his research Green discovered a way to “vaccinate” oysters, as well as the offspring of “vaccinated” individuals, so they are less susceptible to this disease.

“This discovery has the capacity to revolutionize oyster farming worldwide,” says Dr. Green, who has worked on aquaculture projects in several countries including Australia, Scotland, France and United States.

“An individual oyster can produce millions of offspring, and therefore, aquaculture hatcheries only have to treat a few oysters to produce millions of disease-resistant oyster larvae. I’m looking forward to expanding my research through the Canada Research Chair position to develop new technologies for breeding shellfish resilient to ocean change and disease.”

Dr. Green will speak about his research at a workshop organized by the  BC Shellfish Growers Association (BCSGA) at the upcoming 2018 Seafood Expo on Vancouver Island next month.

Presenters including Chris Langdon, a Professor of Fisheries at the Oregon State University will speak to husbandry practices in other jurisdictions as well as to ways to inform brood stock research and development.

Members of the shellfish farming industry will also be able to explore opportunities to enhance oyster farm productivity in British Columbia, said the BCSGA.

The cool, nutrient-rich coastal waters of British Columbia’s vast coastline provide the ideal location to grow some of the highest-quality shellfish found on menus around the world. Shellfish farms in BC are located primarily around the west coast of Vancouver Island and in the Georgia Basin. Historically, the most prolific areas for shellfish farming have been Baynes Sound, Cortes Island and Okeover Inlet.

About the BC Seafood Expo

The Expo features over 50 Trade Show exhibitors, leading speakers in their fields and provides a venue to network with industry leaders, international buyers, distributors, and educators for every type of fish, seafood, and seafood related products and services.  (

The  2018 keynote speakers  include; entrepreneur, lawyer and best-selling author, Calvin Helin and president of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, Linda Cornish. Attendees can indulge in the two networking lunches as well as the International Buyers Reception, which features top domestic chefs, the best of BC seafood, and a delegation of 30+ international seafood buyers, all taking place within the Expo trade show area.


Related Link

2018 Shellfish Dinner by the Sea



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