ANYONE PLANNING TO STOCK FISH
The biggest danger for a total wipe-out of your fishery is a disease called KHV. We would like to relate an incident which took place in the UK where KHV was introduced into a fishery and some of the best fish in the country died, along with many others and the story will explain the total horror scenario that can unfold if your fish are not purchased from an entirely credible organization with 100% proof of a disease free environment.
In short, a disease free certificate – both a local one and international one, is required and MUST be verified and be authentic indicating that the original fish in the breeding program were KHV free and indeed, disease free and the relevant Scientific Institute in South Africa needs to indicate that fish emanating from any breeding facility have been randomly swabbed and tested for KHV. IF NOT, YOU WILL BE CLOSING SHOP SOON.
KHV is a notifiable disease. Any facility housing carp or koi for sale should not take in wild caught carp – no matter what the source is – or koi for that matter, unless the carp or koi come with an international and local disease- free certificate. It is important therefore, if you wish to stock your fishery – or koi pond for that matter – that you are absolutely certain that the fish you are purchasing do not come from the same premises that hold wild carp/koi without a certified background to avoid the very real danger of having your fishery shut down due to KHV being introduced into it.
Three stillwater fisheries in the south and south east of England have been hit by the UK’s most serious outbreak of KHV ever.
The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Environment Agency are investigating three outbreaks of Koi Herpes Virus at the three fisheries and have placed fish movement restrictions on the waters.
Cefas reports that the outbreak represents the first KHV mortalities reported this year and that it has been the most serious in terms of losses since the disease was first recorded in the UK.
The Environment Agency and Cefas are trying to determine the source of the outbreaks and identify whether any other waters have been infected by the deadly virus.
KHV, now formally known as Cyprinid Herpes Virus 3 or CyHV-3, is a member of the Herpesviridae family and has been responsible for mass mortalities in carp around the world, with Israel, Japan and South Africa particularly hard hit.
The disease occurs at temperatures between 15 and 28C and results in mortality rates between 50 and 95%. It was first officially reported in the UK in 2000.
The virus can remain latent in infected carriers for long periods and only becomes symptomatic when the temperature rises to 15-28C. As a result, dealers are advised to isolate newly imported carp and heat-treat them for several weeks in order to trigger the symptoms.
KHV is not yet a notifiable disease in the UK and Cefas now charges a fee to determine whether fish are infected with the virus. This may have led to a drop in the number of cases that get officially reported.