AEI prepress abstract  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00314

Disease threats to farmed green-lipped mussels Perna canaliculus in New Zealand: review of challenges in risk assessment and pathway analysis

A. Castinel, S. C. Webb*, J. B. Jones, E. J. Peeler, B. M. Forrest

*Email: steve.webb@cawthron.org.nz

ABSTRACT: The endemic green-lipped mussel (GLM) Perna canaliculus is a key cultural and economic species for New Zealand. Unlike other cultured shellfish species, GLMs have experienced relatively few disease issues. The apparent absence of diseases in both wild and farmed GLM populations does not preclude risks from environmental changes or from the introduction of overseas mussel pathogens and parasites. Potential for disease exchange between GLM and other mytilid species present in New Zealand has yet to be elucidated. After reviewing and discussing relevant scientific literature, we present an initial assessment of GLM vulnerability to disease threats and the potential risk pathways for mussel pathogens and parasites into New Zealand and highlight a number of challenges. These include knowledge gaps relevant to GLM susceptibility to exotic pathogens and parasites, risk pathways into New Zealand and biosecurity risk associated with domestic pathways. Considerations and findings could potentially apply to other farmed aquatic species with limited distribution range and/or low disease exposure.