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Weekly Overview: New Freshwater Fish Parasite Detected in Japan

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ANALYSIS - Scientists at Hiroshima University in Japan have identified a new species of parasite infecting an invasive freshwater fish on the subtropical island of Okinawa, Japan.

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The findings came as part of a project started in 2012 to find parasites that have arrived in Japan with their non-native hosts and understand the role of parasites in natural ecosystems.

Masato Nitta, a PhD student at Hiroshima University, discovered the new parasites on two invasive vermiculated sailfin catfish swimming in a river flowing through the University campus.

Nitta and his supervisor, Kazuya Nagasawa, PhD, from the Graduate School of Biosphere Science at Hiroshima University, have now published a research paper announcing a parasite species new to science, two species found in Japan for the first time, and the confirmation of the presence of a species they identified in 2012.

The four species described in the research paper infect the gills of the catfish and are in the class Monogenea.

In other news this week, Russia announced that it will partially lift its ban on imports of canned fish from Estonia and Latvia, despite the continuing political tensions between Russia and the Baltic States.

Reporting for The Fish Site, Jaroslaw Adamowski wrote that Russia said it is prepared to resume the import of Estonian and Latvian canned fish products from a number of companies.

However, Sergey Dankvert, the head of the state-run institution, announced that a full restoration of imports would not be happening at this time, as reported by local broadcaster ERR.

Rosselkhoznadzor’s announcement comes shortly following a no confidence vote that ousted the Estonian government on 9 November, paving the way for the forming of a new cabinet.