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Workshop for the analysis of the impact of perkinsosis on the European shellfish industry

Final Report Summary - WOPER (Workshop for the analysis of the impact of perkinsosis on the European shellfish industry)

Perkinsosis is a disease affecting molluscs around the world that results in high mortality of some commercial species and, therefore, has significant economic impacts and crucial consequences for international trade.

Previous research efforts provided useful information on species affecting molluscs in North America; however, information on pathogens active in European waters remained rather scarce and controversial.

The WOPER project aimed to address the threat of perkinsosis in the European shellfish industry through the organisation of a workshop with participants representing the industry, public authorities, research community and regulators. The workshop produced innovative knowledge, identified current and future research priorities and formulated recommendations for the industry and policy makers. Its results were disseminated via a series of activities targeting organisations, stakeholders, scientists and the general public.

The project was elaborated in three stages, related to the preparation of the workshop, the accomplishment of its activities and the publication of its proceedings. The sessions focused on five thematic areas namely on the disease parasites, epizootiology, host and pathogen interaction, effects on the shellfish industry and, finally, control and fighting strategies. The participants were selected to represent different geographic locations and professional fields. Knowledge gaps were highlighted prior to the event elaboration so as to be effectively addressed during its sessions. Moreover, the workshop organisation was communicated to potential participants through numerous dissemination activities and the project website, so as to allow for maximum participation.

The event was attended by seventy eight professionals of European and international origin. Simultaneous translations were provided to facilitate experts' communication. A book was subsequently published, containing introductory reports, the abstract of all presentations, a summary of the sessions' discussions and, finally, the workshop conclusions. The document contents were supported by a compact disk (CD) which included digital files and was distributed with the book. The publication was also announced in numerous international meetings in order to assure the widest possible distribution and facilitate exploitation of WOPER findings.

The workshop produced numerous useful results. Firstly, all available information on perkinsosis was summarised and reviewed. The geographic range of the disease and the susceptible species were updated. The anticipated impact on clam populations was also identified and, finally, topics for future research were prioritised so as to remedy the scarcity of knowledge in Europe.

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