DV-17-06 Optimizing depuration methods of the bacteria Vibrio parahaemolyticus in the Eastern oyster

Meredith White
Mook Sea Farm
mkseafarm@gmail.com

Bacteria belonging to the genus Vibrio are found naturally in brackish and marine environments and represent the leading cause of human illness associated with eating raw seafood, including oysters. The recent warming trend in sea surface temperature of the North Atlantic is linked to the spread of Vibrio species. There have been multiple shellfish closures along the East Coast in the past few years; a similar closure could represent an enormous loss of revenue to Maine oyster growers. There is a critical need to optimize post-harvest processing methodology to remove Vibrio species before oysters are sold to consumers. This project will experiment with depuration methods in a quarantine laboratory situation to identify the best way to protect the safety and quality of Maine-grown oysters.

Total Sea Grant funds: $4,000