Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Salmon deaths a mystery, New Zealand

New Zealand King Salmon wants to know why an unusually high number of fish died at one of its Marlborough Sounds marine farms last week.

King Salmon aquaculture general manager Mark Preece said on some days last week, 7 per cent of fish died at its Pelorus Sound marine farm. Testing by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry confirmed the fish were clear of all known viruses and bacterial diseases.

Mr Preece said the number of fish with small lesions like swollen mosquito bites had increased in this summer-autumn period. It was not known how many deaths on the 500,000-fish farm were caused by these lesions, old age, stress and seal attacks. The delicate king salmon species was hard to farm and normally had a 5 per cent death rate over summer, Mr Preece said.

King Salmon had introduced measures to make sure no biological material was transferred to or from the site and no equipment on the farm would be moved, he said.

Those steps would stay in place until further test results came back confirming the exact cause of the problem and remedies. Read More

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