Fusion Fund Research in South Africa

Infested Abalone Shell (Photo:C Simon)

Stellenbosch Unverisity (Photo: C Simon)

This Fusion Investment Fund project is about to kick off involving collaboration between Matt Bentley at BU and Carol Simon at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. The research focuses on control of pest infestation of cultured abalone. Abalone is one of the world’s most valuable aquaculture products and its culture has alleviated the illegal harvesting of wild individuals. In South Africa, abalone and oyster culture form part of the country’s ‘Blue Revolution’ developing sustainable aquaculture. This project will involve two BU students who will work on the development of a methodology for use on abalone farms to manage shell-boring worm infestations which threaten the industry (the abalone’s response is to carry out shell repair/thickening in place of flesh growth thereby reducing the product yield). The methodologies will be developed in the laboratories of Stellenbosch University and then transferred to trials at the abalone farm of Abagold Pty Ltd in Hermanus in the Western Cape.