Friday, December 19, 2003


Scientists from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science recently discovered a new protozoan parasite (Bonamia sp.) in populations of Asian oysters (Crassostrea ariakensis) off the coast of North Carolina, according to this report from This is bad news, as many had hoped that the Asian oysters could supplement the Chesapeake Bay's dwindling native oyster populations. This is the first time that Bonamia has been found in the region, though it has been detected in Maine, France and New Zealand. Research is still being done to determine where the parasites are from (they don't appear to be associated with the shipments of Asian oysters), and to what degree they cause oyster mortality. Bonus points to ABCNews for using scientific names.