French Crisis Team Fights Oyster Herpes

Photo: istockphoto

How’s this for tres bizarre? Reuters reports, “A herpes virus is killing young oysters in France because they have spent too much energy developing their sexual organs rather than their natural defenses, an oyster-crisis team has found.” Oyster-crisis team? Sounds like the latest Adult Swim show. Actually, the problem is grave: In all but one of France’s breeding areas, 40 percent to 100 percent of oysters aged twelve to eighteen months are dying. Apparently, weather conditions caused an abundance of planktonic plant life, leaving the oysters well fed and with more time to spend “developing their sexual organs to the detriment of their natural reserves.” There’s a lesson to be learned here somewhere…

Killer Herpes Decimates Young French Oysters [Reuters]