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Canadian Eels Infected by Foreign Parasite

US - Its an infection that worries researchers at two Nova Scotia universities invasive parasitic worms in the local eel population.

They were first discovered in American eels in Sydney Harbour and the Mira River in 2007, and have since been found in most eel populations throughout Cape Breton’s rivers and estuaries, reports TheChronicleHerald.

Lydia Rockwell-Thompson, a graduate student at Saint Mary’s University studying fish and their parasites on the island, made the discovery — the first documented occurrence of the infection in Canadian waters.

Ms. Rockwell-Thompson’s research, led by Cape Breton University marine ecologist Martha Jones and David Cone, a parasitologist at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, found that six of 10 eels collected from Mira River and one of five from Sydney Harbour were infected with between one and 11 worms per eel.

"We now have observed up to 30 worms per individual American eel," Jones said of her team’s further research.

the Fish Site Editor

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