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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Parasite could wipe out salmon industry  (อ่าน 1895 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: ธันวาคม 28, 2006, 09:33:27 PM »

Source: Sunday Times  World News    24/12/2006 15:15:48
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Mark l. Macaskil

A Norwegian parasite could destroy the Scottish salmon industry, according to a government report which warns that it would cost the economy up to £600m and 2,000 jobs.

 

Scientists commissioned by the Scottish executive say that thousands of wild and farmed salmon would be destroyed if the bug, gyrodactylus salaris, enters the country’s waterways.


The parasite has already wrought havoc in Norway where 300 tons of fish in 40 rivers have been infected. It was introduced from Sweden when salmon smolts were imported to meet growing demand.

 

Efforts to prevent it entering Britain have so far proved successful but there are fears that it could be imported by the increasing numbers of anglers travelling between Scotland and Scandinavia.

 

Ministers recently approved new powers to deal with the parasite in the event of an outbreak, including the compulsory slaughter of fish and restricting the movement of live fish, fish eggs and feed.

 

Other proposals contained in the Aquaculture and Fisheries bill include enforcement action against farms that have insufficient measures to control parasites or contain fish. Inspectors would be able to take samples of stock and measure the levels of parasites.

 

The parasite, less than a millimetre in size, infests the skin, gills and fins of the fish causing open wounds and eventual death. It can survive for days in damp conditions such as plastic bags and angling equipment including waders, nets and fishing lines. A single parasite imported by accident into a Scottish river could spark an epidemic within months.

 

“This parasite could cause enormous problems,” said Geoff Riddington, an economist at Glasgow Caledonian University who co-authored the study. “If it got into one of the bigger water courses, it would be extremely difficult to eradicate.

 

“It could be imported on fishing gear or a kayak and the sensible thing to do is introduce mandatory disinfection on main routes in from Scandinavia. We estimate that as a society we would be worse off by £633m if wild salmon populations were wiped out.”

 

George Holdsworth, policy director for the Salmon and Trout Association in Scotland, said that the prospect of the parasite hitting Scotland was “frightening”.

 

“If it arrives, there is no cure and it would kill all of our wild salmon stone dead. It doesn’t bear thinking about,” he said.

 

Andrew Wallace, director of the Association of Salmon Fishery Boards, said: “Of all the threats to Atlantic salmon and the Scottish jobs and businesses which depend on it, gyrodactylus is the most potent. The costs of preventing the disease getting into the country will be dwarfed by the costs of eradication, should that even be possible.”

 

Rhona Brankin, deputy minister for environment and rural development, said: “We are not aware of any immediate risk of introduction to Scottish rivers but it is important that we take proportionate steps to prevent an outbreak.”

Source or related URL: http://www.timesonline.co.uk
 
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