Researchers Dave Bushek and Daphne Munroe, from the Haskin Shellfish Research Lab, in collaboration with colleagues from Virginia Institute of Marine Science recently completed studies of a parasite that has recently been found in the federal sea scallop fishery. This fishery is a major economic driver in New Jersey and sits among the most valuable fished species in the US. The parasite they studied preferentially infects the valuable scallop muscle, and has caused some parts of the fishery to shift where they are fishing to avoid the undesirable meats. Bushek and his team did surveys that showed the parasite appears to be persisting in areas off New Jersey over the past 3 seasons, and performed experiments demonstrating no indication that fishing activity plays a role in parasite transmission.
Photo Captions: left: Prof. Bushek and researcher Jason Morson count and measure scallops at sea on a commercial fishing boat. Right: Technician Emily McGurk records data from scallop experiments at the Haskin Shellfish Lab.