Last 2 November 2011 the non-profit scientific society “SIRAM” (Molluscan Applied Research Italian Society) was instituted in Italy. SIRAM has been established to put together, by means of research activities, all stakeholders involved in safeguard and development of shellfish sector and related products, from aquaculture to harvesting on wild populations.

Main purpose of the society is to carry out applied research on the problems concerning primary production activities. Charter members are involved in producers associations (AMA - Mediterranean Aquaculture Association and API - Fish Aquaculture Italian Association), and in major Italian scientific institutions (IIZZSS - healthcare Institutes, ISPRA, C.Ri.M, some Universities and Superior Health Institute). Researches will concern shellfish physiology, environmental sustainability, pathology problems and products food safety for consumers, where the last two topics are sensitive concerns for producers.

Attention will be paid to current shellfish mortalities in lagoon and open sea and to the Ostreid herpes virus outbreaks on cupped oyster that occurs in some areas. In order to identify new suitable production strategies, close examination will concern the host-parasite relationship in specific national conditions, compared to other situations in UE countries. It will be also important to set-up a cost-benefit analysis of UE rules on the Italian shellfish sector.

As far as food safety is concerned, producers and consumers need more information on some important issues as Vibrio strains and enteric viruses risks, advanced microbial contamination control with impedometric system or quick test for algae bio-toxins detection. On shellfish safety, suitable information to consumers is also necessary to avoid that generic feeding intoxication could be associated to shellfish, as too often occurs, when due to other factors.

In addition to research activities, SIRAM will point to strengthen professional relationships between its members by means of  updating and qualification workshops.

Not for last, another objective of SIRAM, through a wide approach able to cover all the shellfish food-chain, is to bring Italian instances at international level where they have been scarcely represented until now.


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