The first step in the process of removing oysters from Stewart Island oyster farms is complete, according to Ministry for Primary Industries readiness and response manager Geoff Gwyn.
In June the Ministry ordered the removal of all farmed oysters from Stewart Island amid fears the deadly parasite, Bonamia ostreae might spread to wild oysters in Foveaux strait..
Caged oysters were the first to be targeted in June as they posed a greater risk and the focus is now on the remaining farmed oysters which should be removed by next month.
Gwyn says while there is a need for urgency, rushing the process could have had 'potentially disastrous consequences', and Stewart Island's remote location had been a 'significant logistical challenge'.
MPI declined to provide details about its investigation into how the disease got to Stewart Island.