DescriptionA mass oyster cull operation is underway around Stewart Island as the Ministry for Primary Industries ramps up its response to an infestation of the lethal parasite bonamia ostreae. The parasite was found at two marine farms in the bay last month and concerns are that it may spread to the wild flat oyster beds in Foveaux Strait. Ngāi Tahu has a significant stake in those wild oyster beds. The operation involves the caged oysters from the farms being lifted, sterilised and disposed of at a landfill near Bluff. An estimated 4,000 tonnes of flat oysters will be culled. There are 14 marine farms based at Stewart Island.