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Massachusetts Aquaculture White Paper - Fish Health


Opening Paragraph:

Fish diseases constitute one of the most important problems and challenges confronting fish culturists. Fish diseases do not occur as a single caused event but are the end result of interactions of the disease, the fish and the environment. Fish in intensive culture are continuously affected by environmental fluctuations and management practices such as handling, crowding, transporting, drug treatments, undernourishment, fluctuating temperatures, and poor water quality. All of these factors can impose considerable stress on the homeostatic mechanisms of fish rendering them susceptible to a wide variety of pathogens. Parasites, viruses, and bacteria are all causes for concern to aquaculturists. Many of these pathogens are easily treatable and are not transferable to humans. On the other hand, there are fish diseases that are not treatable and cause widespread mortality both in the hatchery and wild fish. Disease also reduces hatchery efficiency and production, which in turn, increases costs and reduces profit.
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