MSX, or Multinucleate Sphere X, is caused by a microscopic parasite that kills oysters. The disease decimated Nova Scotia's aquaculture industry in 2001. Executive Director of Nova Scotia's aquaulture industry, Bruce Hancock, says New England has developed fast-growing oyster strains that are also MSX-resistant. Hancock says the cost of the disease in Atlantic Canada is about a million dollars a year.
The aquaculture associations of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are leading a group of about 16 researchers, industry delegates and government officials. The group will travel to Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island to talk about technology and policy approaches against MSX.
The disease poses no threat to humans.