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Virus threatens UK oysters

08-20-2010 17:11 BJT

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An English coastal town famous for its oysters is on the verge of a crisis.

The virus has already cost local fishermen millions and there are fears that it may have a devastating effect on Whitstable's leisure industry.

Hundreds of people from around the world come to Whitstable for its famous oysters.

But a virus that affects the Pacific oyster,is threatening to wipe them out on the Kent coast.

Fisherman John Bayes says the virus has cost him half a million pounds and has killed off tens of thousands of his oysters.

John Bayes, Oysters Farmer, said, "It's set us back a long way and it's set Whitstable back a long way too. I think it's the worst setback the industry has suffered since 1963 when the sea froze solid and almost everything died, all the cockles, the mussels and the oysters."

The virus has the potential to affect the whole of Whitstable's economy, since it is so dependent on the tourists who come to try the popular shellfish.

Last year, the oyster industry earned the town more than 30 million pounds.

The government is investigating the cause of the virus but until then, fishermen are hoping that the season doesn't get any worse.


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Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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