Report on French Oyster Situation Published.

As part of the Advance Through Disease Control Project (ATDC) a report has been produced which tries to outline the situation and range of approaches and strategies being undertaken by the French oyster industry and authorities. To a lesser degree this report has reviewed the situation closer to home as well.  

It is felt that the French oyster sector is of great interest and of great influence on oyster farms here, and that there is a huge gap in NI’s oyster sector’s knowledge on this matter.  The importance of the French experience of this disease is key from several angles.  

●The French oyster sector has the biggest production in Europe.  
●The French oyster farmers have suffered the greatest losses.  
●French hatcheries can be a source of the virus.  
●French hatcheries have the highest hatchery seed production.  
●France is the biggest market for Irish oysters when sold.      

A consequence of the importance of oyster farming in France is that oyster farming innovations in terms of equipment and farming techniques often come from France.  In recent years, organisations in France such as the CNC (Comité National de la Conchyliculture, c.f. and Ifremer (, have been formulating responses to this emerging disease.  It is hoped that this report looking at the French response to the herpes virus would be of interest to the farmers here, as well as to the regulatory authorities.  

The report was researched and written by Fabrice Richez – a French Aquaculture consultant living in Ireland – who has a very wide experience of the oyster sector both here and in France.  Fabrice has very good technical experience and has previously worked for the Aquaculture Initiative and BIM.  Essentially Fabrice researched the report in French by sourcing a wide variety of subject material, and also by spending time in France and interviewing several people from key parts of the oyster business for their opinion and experience.  The result is a useful report produced in English which is to try and help give everyone here an insight and understanding of the French oyster situation.  

The full report is available here

Martin Flanigan