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Hatchery Technology for Sustainable Oyster Aquaculture

Marine scientists from The Swire Institute of Marine Science and The School of Biological Sciences at HKU were recently interviewed for TVB News and Pearl Magazine about their groundbreaking work at the Hong Kong Oyster Hatchery & Innovation Research Unit. They are using cutting-edge breeding technology to raise high-quality oyster seeds in their high-tech hatchery with the help of high-density recirculation system. . This hatchery project was funded by Sustainable Fisheries Development Fund from AFCD, HKSAR. The associated breeding technology work was funded by local industry, the Lee Kum Kee Co., Ltd.,. Check out this video to learn more about their exciting project and how they are working to save the oyster industry in Hong Kong! 

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HKO-HIRU pursues vision of sustainable aquaculture

Marine scientists develop an initiative to help Hong Kong’s centuries-old oyster farms thrive in a sustainable way. Dr Thiyagarajan Vengatesen of the University of Hong Kong discusses its future and its social, ecological, and economic impacts.

Oyster aquaculture has been around for centuries in Hong Kong, but growers now face critical threats to their livelihood, such as pollution and climate change. To help the industry thrive sustainably, marine scientists at the University of Hong Kong have created the Hong Kong Oyster Hatchery & Innovation Research Unit. Vengatesen, who led the project to set up the hatchery, shares his insights about its aims and progress so far.

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David, Dr Rajan, Mr Leung checking for oyster mortality at Deep bay

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Understanding oyster winter mortality in Deep Bay

Winter mortality syndrome in oysters has severely impacted oyster aquaculture in Hong Kong and southern China, oyster growers claim to suffer from 40% to even 100% loss in harvest during Chinese New Year annually. The unpredicted mass mortality during winter period have never been scientifically studied before, hence oyster growers currently can only combat by harvesting early or moving the oysters to low salinity areas, both are not ideal and leads to economic lost. By studying and understanding the cause behind this mortality event, we can help oyster growers develop strategies to reduce harvest loss in the short term and develop a selective breeding program in the long run. The success of this project is a hope to revive the declining oyster aquaculture industry in Hong Kong.

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