Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Investigations into the causes of mortality of the pearl oyster, Pinctada maxima (Jamson), in Western Australia

Pass, D.A., Dybdahl, R. and Mannion, M.M. (1987) Investigations into the causes of mortality of the pearl oyster, Pinctada maxima (Jamson), in Western Australia. Aquaculture, 65 (2). pp. 149-169.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


An investigation into the cause of high mortality of the pearl oyster, Pinctada maxima, in the north-west of Western Australia was carried out over a 3-year period. Pathological and microbiological investigations revealed that the majority of diseased oysters were infected with marine Vibrio bacteria. One common isolate, Vibrio harveyi, was shown experimentally to induce disease similar to that seen in the field. Pearl oyster mortality during pearling industry operations occurred following transportation of oysters in tanks on carrier boats from collection grounds to oyster lease sites. The number of marine Vibrios in the water of carrier tanks increased rapidly during transportation because of inadequate water circulation and this was believed to be the time when infection occurred. Mortalities were greatest at times when water temperatures were lowest and experiments showed that oysters were most susceptible to disease at these low temperatures. It is postulated that oysters, weakened by exposure to low ambient temperature, come into contact with high concentrations of bacteria during transportation to lease sites at which time bacterial invasion occurs.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary Studies
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Item Control Page Item Control Page