Aquaculture-Pacific Oyster

Pacific Oyster Mortalities

In 1993, massive episodic mortalities of Pacific oyster seed planted by shellfish growers occurred in Tomales Bay and SGEP Advisor Paul Olin became involved in research to investigate possible causes. In subsequent years, it was learned that elevated temperatures played a role, therefore growers ceased outplanting seed oysters between late spring and early fall to minimize losses. More recently, a herpes virus has been confirmed as a pathogen associated with these mortalities that occur in conjunction with elevated temperatures. To assess whether there is any heritable resistance to this virus, adult oysters that survived mortality events as juveniles have been collected from Tomales Bay and are being spawned to generate seed oysters for outplanting. 

Olin provides input on development of aquaculture policy through membership on the California Aquaculture Development Committee and involvement in the legislative and regulatory process.The aim is to support sustainable aquaculture development, strengthen California’s economy, and provide healthy locally produced seafood. Californian's currently import more than 80% of the seafood they consume at a cost of more than $1 billion. A considerable portion of this could be locally produced in a sustainable fashion.

In 2008, Olin was selected by the director of the then Department of Fish and Game to serve on the State Aquaculture Development Committee that has responsibility to advise the department on aquaculture regulation and management issues. Olin was also nominated and confirmed as a member of the U.S.-Japan Natural Resources Panel on Aquaculture, and the US-Korea Joint Panel on Aquaculture. These positions involve local and international collaborations for research and aquaculture planning between the United States, Japan and Korea.

In collaboration with colleagues at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Olin wrote a review of North American Aquaculture covering the period 2000 through 2010 that was presented at the Global Conference on Aquaculture in June 2010 in Phuket, Thailand.

  • University of California San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography