South Australia Logo Government of SA - Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure Logo Government of South Australia Website Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure Home Page Government of South Australia Website

Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS)

09 Mar 2018

Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS)


Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) was detected in Adelaide’s Port River on 28 February, 2018 and the SA oyster industry needs fishers, boaters and river users to help prevent its spread to other parts of the state.

How you can help

It is currently illegal to remove bivalve shellfish (oysters, mussels, razorfish and cockles) from the Port River, including West Lakes, for any purpose including bait or berley.

This ban is legally enforceable, until further notice, under the Fisheries Management Act 2007.

You can help to stop the spread of POMS:

  • Ensure vessel hulls are clean and remove plants and animals from fishing and boating equipment and clothing so you don’t transfer pests and diseases to other waterways.
  • Where possible, wash boats and equipment with light household detergent, rinse with tap water without letting the water drain into waterways, and importantly dry completely before moving to another waterway.
  • Never use seafood sold for human consumption as bait or berley.

The disease affects Pacific Oysters (Crassostrea gigas) and is caused by a virus called OsHV-1 micro variant.

It causes rapid death and high mortality rates in farmed Pacific Oysters (up to 100% within days of being detected) and can spread quickly if introduced.

There are no human health implications associated with POMS, which only affects the Pacific Oyster.

Please visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/poms for more information, including a detailed map showing the locations subject to the ban on bivalve shellfish removal and frequently asked questions.