Your data on MRCVSonline
The nature of the services provided by Vision Media means that we might obtain certain information about you.
Please read our Data Protection and Privacy Policy for details.

In addition, (with your consent) some parts of our website may store a 'cookie' in your browser for the purposes of
functionality or performance monitoring.
Click here to manage your settings.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Project underway to protect new oyster species
Image of new oyster species Crassotrea (Magallana) saidii.
The species was discovered in the Muar River, Malasia.

A project is getting underway to protect a new species of oyster discovered in Malaysia.

The new species, named Crassotrea (Magallana) saidii was identified in the Muar River during a collaboration between Queen’s University Belfast and Universiti Putra Malaysia.

While local fishermen have been aware of the species since the 1860s, it has not officially been named until now. Scientists were unconvinced that it differed from similar, more common species until they conducted a DNA test.

Dr Julia Sigwart from the School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s, a mollusc taxonomist, explained: “You can’t protect a species unless you know it exists through scientific validation, so it was important to make that distinction between it and any other species. 

“Official validation helps manage sustainability as scientists have more influence in encouraging the government and those who fish to protect it. It also ensures it has the best possible market value when it is sold as food.”

The new species has a relatively flat shell with brown scales and is around 120mm by 6mm in size. It is named after local businessman Md Saidi Bin Mohamed, who has been actively promoting research and conservation for the sustainability of the oyster since 2013. 

Concerned about whether local fishing practices in the Muar River were sustainable, he contacted the Universiti Putra Malaysia to see if they could help. Currently, the oyster lives in one tiny estuary and may be threatened by urbanisation.

Dr Sigwart said: “The population does seem stable, but it’s worrying that the only known occurrence of this species in the world exists in such a small area,  and we don’t know what is coming downstream that might threaten it.

“Tropical Southeast Asia is a very biodiverse region and this particular area of the Muar River is a rich and important habitat which can tell us a lot about climate protection and global biodiversity.”

Dr Leena Wong from Universiti Putra Malaysia, who sent the samples for DNA testing, added: “Our research group at Universiti Putra Malaysia, which has specialist local knowledge of biodiversity, is now working to develop aquaculture approaches to increase the Crassotrea (Magallana) saidii oyster population.

“We are pleased that experts from Queen’s University who have extensive knowledge of global biodiversity are supporting us in this important work.”

Image (C) Queen's University Belfast.

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

RCVS Fellowship applications open

News Story 1
 Applications have now opened for RCVS Fellowship 2022. The RCVS is encouraging anyone who would like to be considered for Fellowship to apply, and if successful, they will be welcomed into the Fellowship next year.

The process for joining the fellowship has changed slightly for this year, as applicants will now need two signed referee forms instead of three professional references, and five assessors will review each application instead of three.

The deadline for applications is 14 February 2022, and more information on how to apply can be found here. If applicants have any questions, or would like informal advice from previous successful applicants, they are encouraged to contact Ceri Via Email 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Horiba announces veterinary haematology webinar

Horiba Medical has announced a free webinar providing practical insight on best practice in veterinary haematology. Entitled 'In practice haematology - Beyond the pale!' the webinar will be presented by Ronnie Barron from the University of Glasgow Veterinary School.

Ronnie's presentation, which will conclude with a Q&A session, will look at QC and artefacts of sample quality and review the effects of different pathologies. Using images, photomicrographs and video links, he will also explain the techniques and equipment needed to complement analytical automation to confirm results quality.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, October 28 (7.30-9pm). For more details and to register, click here.