A common disease affecting the healthy growth of oysters has been detected in the waters of St. Anns Harbour and Orangedale in Cape Breton, the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture announced today, Nov. 8. While there are no human health concerns related to this problem Malepeque disease is an infection that can cause damage to oyster beds creating issues for fishermen and oyster farmers. Since 1915, when the first symptoms were recorded, there have been significant losses to oyster beds throughout the Maritimes. These stocks did rebound as the oyster population developed a tolerance to the infection. The Bras d’Or Lakes were considered the last area in the Maritimes to be free of the problem. The Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture is working with the farmers, fishermen and First Nations, and government agencies such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to gather and share information. Harvesting of oysters for market is continuing because there is no human health risk. All oysters removed for processing are sent to facilities approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. For more information contact the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture at 902-893-6539 .