Japan scientists study oyster ‘language’

Scientists in Japan have begun studying the “language” of oysters in an effort to find out what they are saying about their environment.

Researchers are monitoring the opening and closing of the molluscs in response to changes in seawater, such as reduced oxygen or red tide, a suffocating algal bloom, that can lead to mass die-offs.

Using a device they have nicknamed the “kai-lingual”, a play on the Japanese word “kai” or shellfish, scientists from Kagawa University want to see if they can decode oyster movements that might warn of possible problems.

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Miyagi Oyster Farms Reflect Japan’s Struggles

THE famous oysters of Miyagi on Japan’s northern Pacific Coast once saved the French industry from disaster, but the March tsunami has left growers on the brink of ruin.

The difficulties facing oyster growers of Matushima Bay – who lost all but 10 per cent of their breeding stock to the killer wave – is typical of the predicament for businesses across Japan.

The Naruse branch of the growers’ co-operative, which lost three of its oyster breeders in the tsunami, is battling fuel and cash shortages, and an astonishing collection of debris in their corner of the bay.

Read the rest of the story: Miyagi oyster farms mirror Japanese ruin.