Over 9,000 ballan wrasse culled after viral outbreak

A viral outbreak at NAFC Marine Centre has led to the cull of more than 9,000 fish, in an effort to contain the infection.

The fish were ballan wrasse, which were due to be released to salmon farms in the islands. The wrasse feed on sea lice, which are a serious problem for salmon farmers, and Scottish Sea Farms are experimenting with the fish in the hope that they may provide a safe and organic solution to the scourge.

However, wrasse are vulnerable to marine Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (VHS), and the infection was found at NAFC’s Marine Centre last month.

The virus is not dangerous for salmon or for humans, but is highly infectious and can be deadly in wrasse.

About Malachy Tallack

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