6 Jul 2012

Sanford disposes of oysters in wake of virus

9:43 pm on 6 July 2012

Seafood business Sanford has sold 16 Pacific oyster farms in Northland to Aotearoa Fisheries.

Managing director Eric Barratt says the listed company closed its Kaeo processing plant in December because of a herpes virus killing juvenile oysters.

"We're removing the equipment out of the factory," says Mr Barratt. "The farms remain ... but we just wanted to be out of the Pacific oyster business, and this was a good transaction from both sides".

Mr Barratt won't disclose the sale price but says that until the herpes incursion the oyster operation had been worth about $4 million a year in revenue to the company.