Oyster supply shortages reach UK


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
July 12, 2010

A disease devastating juvenile oysters in France is creating major oyster supply shortages in the United Kingdom, according to the Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB) and the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers (ASSG).

The disease has not been reported in the UK. But French farmers are sourcing juvenile oysters from UK hatcheries to restock their beds, and, as a result, supplies of are limited. Distribution restrictions to prevent the spread of the disease is also tightening supplies.

UK growers are struggling to meet demand, and supply difficulties are expected to last at least the rest of the year, according to the SAGB and ASSG.

“We are experiencing significant demand for oysters at the moment, which is frustrating, given the limited supplies of juveniles for on-growing,” said ASSG Chairman Walter Speirs. “It is important that UK retailers and wholesalers are made aware of the current supply difficulties and that farmers are doing everything in their power to address the situation. We are very sorry about the difficulties that the French industry is facing and hope the situation there is resolved as soon as possible.”

Last week, the SAGB and ASSG signed a memorandum of understanding outlining plans for cooperation in the shellfish industry.

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