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Parasite May Have Played A Part In Long Island Scallop Die-Off

Robert F. Bukaty

Researchers from Stony Brook University say a parasite may have contributed to the massive scallop die-off in the Peconic Bay last fall.

Marine biology experts and baymen say warmer waters may have stressed the shellfish and made them more susceptible to illnesses.

Professor Bassem Allam, who works with the Marine Animal Disease Laboratory at Stony Brook, says the lab found the parasite in a sample of scallops from the Peconic Bay.

“The parasite lives in the kidney and disrupts the kidney. So kidney tissue in heavily infected animals are completely disrupted and this can lead to a loss in function of the kidney.”

Allam says they don’t know if another die-off will happen in 2020.

“Our hope is to be able to develop a scallop that can better resist the disease and as a side effect, hopefully resist the stressful environmental conditions.”

Jay Shah is a former Long Island bureau chief at WSHU.
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