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Oyster Herpes Virus Surveillance

Commission Decision (2011/187/EU) which came into effect 1st May 2011 as amended by Commission Implementing Decision 2014/12/EU introduces national measures to prevent the introduction of ostreid herpesvirus 1 μνar (OsHV-1 μνar) into certain areas of Ireland and the United Kingdom. The objective of the legislation is to protect areas within the Community which were free of OsHV- 1uvar, and wished to remain so.

The key features of this legislation were:

  • The establishment of disease free compartments or surveillance areas.
  • A targeted testing regime to ensure the health status of each compartment was known and could be protected.
  • Restrictions on trade in C.gigas into surveillance areas - all movements of C.gigas into surveillance areas must originate from areas which are also free from the disease i.e. other surveillance areas.

The implementation of Decision 2011/187/EU also necessitated the introduction of Commission Regulation (2011/350/EU which which amends Regulation (EC) No 1251/2008 regarding requirements for placing Pacific oysters on the market in Member States.

Commission Decision (2011/187/EC) expired on 30 April 2013 but it’s provisions have been extended until 30 April 2016 by Commission Implementing Decision 2014/250/EU.

In accordance with Annex IV of 2009/177/EC, Ireland submitted a Declaration for disease-free status for Ostreid herpesvirus (OsHV-1µVar) for six compartments in 2015. This declaration related to six compartments, five of which had been subject to targeted surveillance over the five year period and which had remained free of the virus (compartments 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6). The other compartment related to a newly established hatchery which operates independently of the surrounding water (compartment A).

In September 2018, Oyster Herpes Virus (OsHV-1 µvar) was confirmed in Poulnasherry Bay (compartment 6).

On 18th October 2021, after consultation with Crassostrea gigas producers in Galway Bay, a decision was made to voluntarily withdraw from the surveillance programme thereby losing its disease-free status. In addition, as there has been no production of Pacific oysters in the Bertraghboy Bay for some time, it was decided to remove it from the list of OsHV-1 free areas along with Galway Bay, thereby removing compartment 5 in its entirety. 

Please contact the Fish Health Unit of the Marine Institute on 091 387200 if you require further information.

Please note that prior to importing shellfish for ongrowing and relaying, and prior to moving shellfish within the country for the same purposes, you must notify the Marine Institute and confirm details of the site of origin and of destination.