Aquatic Information Center




A Selection of Viruses in Aquaculture

Marnie Cooper, Barb Deyell and Emily Jenkins

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As today's demand for fish (for food and hobbies) exceeds the earth's natural supply, aquaculture has become an increasingly important industry. Disease in general can devastate a population, so it is important for producers to know what they are up against! While there are many pathogens that impact aquaculture, viral diseases in particular can be disastrous; outbreaks often result in high mortality with little or no treatment possible. Often the only recourse is to quarantine and destroy infected stock, followed by rigorous disinfection of all facilities (when possible). This can be traumatic for producer and hobbyist alike, so effective preventative measures are important. These include: proper management and quarantine of new stock, getting broodstock from areas outside the known range of the virus, careful inspection and evaluation of imported stocks, screening via sampling of individuals, and avoiding the introduction of exotic species into new regions, which can exterminate native populations.
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