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Australian AVG virus threatens NZ paua

by the Fish Site Editor
19 October 2007, at 1:00am

NEW ZEALAND - New Zealand paua could soon be under threat from a herpes-like virus that was decimating the Victorian abalone industry, Southern Paua Management Council deputy chairman Jeremy Cooper said.

The virus, called ganglio-neuritis or AVG, had affected a 200km stretch of Victorian coastline and killed up to 90 percent of abalone on infected reefs.

Abalone are similar to paua.

The virus does not present a danger to humans eating paua.

Australian scientists were unsure exactly how the virus spread from one area to another, but as it tended to "hop" along the coastline, it was believed it could be carried on contaminated fishing and diving gear, Mr Cooper said.

The virus could potentially have a devastating effect on New Zealand paua, which was closely related to Australian abalone species, and there was a possibility it could reach New Zealand, Mr Cooper said.

Source: ThaSouthlandTimes

the Fish Site Editor