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CHAVEZ-VILLALBA, Jorge. Culture of the oyster Crassostrea gigas: Analysis of 40 years of activities in Mexico. Hidrobiológica [online]. 2014, vol.24, n.3, pp.175-190. ISSN 0188-8897.

This study is the revision of the culture of the oyster Crassostrea gigas since its introduction in Mexico 40 years ago. The introduction occurred in Baja California during 1973 and then the cultures expanded to other states. There is no juvenile collection from the wild so the spat is produced in national and foreign hatcheries. Current culture systems are; hanging oysters fixed on ropes from racks, oyster trays in long-lines, and plastic mesh bags set on trestles. Mortality outbreaks have been detected since 1997 and today is known that events occur in March-April and November affecting oysters less than 50 mm long. Two diseases related to mortality outbreaks have been confirmed for C. gigas in Mexico; herpesvirus and perkinsosis. Production collapsed due to mortalities leading to a crisis of the activity; signs of recovery are seen until 2010 with a production of 2,858 tonnes. Aquatic animal health agencies as well as state oyster committees in Baja California, Baja California Sur, and Sonora have been key elements for the recovery and organization of oyster industry in the region. At present, studies in genetics are in course to produce disease-resistant oysters and there are promising results using new experimental culture systems. However, problems associated with the activity are diverse and require important efforts from all sectors involved to consolidate the cultivation of the species in the region.

Palavras-chave : Crassostrea gigas; culture; diseases; growth; mortality.

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