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Great Lakes fish farmers say interstate shipment ban could devastate region's industry

US - A government crackdown on live fish shipments from the Great Lakes states is intended to check the spread of a deadly aquatic virus, but critics say it could devastate the region's fishing industry.

In an emergency order last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service banned interstate transport of 37 species of live fish from the eight states adjacent to the Great Lakes. Importing those species from the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec also was prohibited.

The agency's target is viral hemorrhagic septicema, which poses no risk to humans but causes internal bleeding in fish. VHS was discovered in the region last year and is blamed for fish kills in lakes Erie, Ontario and St. Clair and the St. Lawrence River.

Among species susceptible to the virus are popular sport fish such as chinook and coho salmon, rainbow trout, walleye and yellow perch.

Source: jg-tc online

the Fish Site Editor

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