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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Deadly virus threatens abalone stocks  (อ่าน 2856 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: กุมภาพันธ์ 14, 2007, 02:08:28 PM »

Source: Geelong Advertiser  Australian News    14/02/2007 11:33:59

Danny Lannen

Abalone divers might demand fishing exclusion zones along Victoria's coast to stall the spread of a killer virus.

 

Herpes-like ganglioneuritis has travelled from near Portland to Warrnambool in Victoria's western abalone zone in one year and divers fear it will spread into the central zone unless commercial and recreational fishing exclusion buffers are introduced.

 

It threatens to wipe out up to 90 per cent of stock.

 

“This is the biggest challenge the industry has faced, it's absolutely devastating,'' Victorian Abalone Divers Association chief executive Vincent Gannon said.

 

“There has been a loss of $5 million in exports from our western zone, our central zone exports $30 to $40-million annually so we're obviously talking about trying to stop it.

 

“Everything else has failed, we want to see some action.

 

“It has gone through the marine sanctuary at Warrnambool and it doesn't respect anything. It kills and kills quickly.''

 

Victoria's abalone industry turns over $60 million a year.

 

Mr Gannon said 60 to 90 per cent of abalone of any age died within six days of coming into contact with the virus.

 

Department of Primary Industry specialists believe ganglioneuritis poses no threat to humans and is natural in the area, but abalone industry leaders believe they might be facing a hybrid virus and that it escaped from a commercial farm near Portland.

 

About 40 concerned industry members from across the state gathered in Queenscliff yesterday to air concerns about the outbreak and plan responses.

 

Association leaders issued them with biosecurity packs.

 

Diver and association scientist Grant Leeworthy believes the Department of Primary Industries had failed to act quickly enough to prevent spread of the disease.


“Recreational fishing particularly seems to be a vector of the disease. There needs to be a crisis meeting with the Premier Steve Bracks and tough decisions taken now.''

  Source or related URL: http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au
 
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