Relationships between high temperatures and Pacific Oyster disease and mortality in southeast Tasmania, Australia

Shi, Jiaxin; Kajtar, Jules; Hayashida, Hakase; Ugalde, Sarah. 2024 Relationships between high temperatures and Pacific Oyster disease and mortality in southeast Tasmania, Australia. Continental Shelf Research, 105173.

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Warm ocean temperature extremes, including marine heatwaves, have profound impacts on natural marine systems and aquaculture industries across the globe. In Tasmania, Australia, one aquaculture industry that has been significantly impacted by warm temperatures is Pacific Oyster (Magallana gigas, previously named Crassostrea gigas) farming, due to recurring outbreaks of the virus Ostreid herpesvirus 1. Such viral outbreaks are understood to be driven by high seawater temperatures, but the temperature threshold or duration for triggering disease and mortalities remain unclear. This study investigates the relationship between in-situ farm temperatures and oyster disease and mortality on the southeast coast of Tasmania, Australia using daily observations from three oyster growing areas (Pipe Clay Lagoon, Upper Pittwater, and Lower Pittwater) over three seasons. It is found that a 12-day averaged daily mean temperature is an excellent measure of the occurrence of high mortality. Specifically, a 21-day mean of 23.7 °C resulted in a 70% likelihood of high mortality, which is defined here as oyster losses of >15%. On the other hand, for lower levels of disease and mortality, a 12-day average of daily mean temperature gave the strongest relationship. A 12-day mean of 19.7 °C led to 70% probability of some disease and low mortality. The analysis also found in-situ farm temperature generally correlates well with remotely sourced temperature observations, indicating their potential usability for operational management. This study demonstrates a statistical risk analysis framework for the oyster farming industry, helping to improve the understanding of the detrimental impact of high temperatures on Pacific Oysters.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 02784343
Additional Keywords: Warm temperature extremes, Marine heatwave, Magallana gigas, Ostreid herpesvirus-1, Pacific oyster mortality syndrome
Date made live: 15 Jan 2024 12:55 +0 (UTC)

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