Save our fish­eries

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Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME - TONY GRIGORJEVS Se­nior reporter

BRI­TAIN’S an­glers are be­ing urged to play a ma­jor part in stop­ping the spread of a deadly dis­ease that con­tin­ues to threaten our fish­eries.

Sev­eral high-pro­file com­mer­cials have been hit by Koi Her­pes Virus (KHV) in re­cent weeks but ex­perts be­lieve that the prob­lem can be con­tained if an­glers pull to­gether.

Thou­sands of pounds have been spent on re­search to find out how the dis­ease is spread, with ev­i­dence sug­gest­ing it can latch on to land­ing nets and keep­nets and be trans­ferred when an­glers visit other fish­eries if the nets have not been ex­posed to ul­tra-vi­o­let light and dried out.

Lead­ing sci­en­tist Bruno Broughton is adamant that an­glers hold the key to erad­i­cat­ing KHV. He said: “This is a highly in­fec­tious dis­ease of carp with a high mor­tal­ity rate.

“But an­glers have the power to help slow the spread of KHV by mak­ing sure all nets and carp sacks are dried thor­oughly in sun­light. UV light kills the virus, and if all an­glers did this it could make a huge dif­fer­ence to the num­ber of fish­eries that con­tract the dis­ease.”

Worces­ter­shire’s Lar­ford Lakes is among those that has been hit by the virus. Staff there are opt­ing to stay open for busi­ness while in­tro­duc­ing mea­sures in­clud­ing net dips to try and stop KHV spread­ing fur­ther.

The Glebe Fish­ery has also con­tracted the dis­ease and has been closed to mem­bers un­til at least early Au­gust. Owner Roy Mar­low said: “Peo­ple have asked how we got KHV, and as

“Dry all nets and carp sacks thor­oughly in sun­light. The UV light kills the virus”

we do not buy any fish in, by far the most likely cause is that it was trans­ferred by an­glers with in­fected nets kept in a stink bag that had re­cently been in an in­fected wa­ter.

“We have a dry net rule, but it only needs one an­gler not to abide by it and it’s a dis­as­ter.”

Many fish­eries have net dips and pro­vide their own nets to help pre­vent the spread of dis­ease, but more and more venue own­ers are now in­sist­ing that an­glers dry their nets be­fore fish­ing.

One such com­plex is the pop­u­lar Barston Lakes, in Soli­hull, West Mid­lands. Barston hasn’t been af­fected by KHV, and takes all the pre­cau­tions nec­es­sary to safe­guard the venue.

Top fish­eries con­sul­tant and owner of AE Fish­eries, An­drew El­lis, be­lieves that com­mer­cial fish­ery bosses also have a mas­sive part to play in KHV pre­ven­tion. He said: “Too many fish­ery own­ers don’t have reg­u­lar sur­veys done in the win­ter and there­fore know noth­ing about their lakes with re­gard to key fac­tors such as stock­ing den­si­ties.

“Many fish­eries choose to in­tro­duce more fish with­out know­ing how many they have in the first place. This is very danger­ous once wa­ter tem­per­a­tures start to rise and we ex­pe­ri­ence the kind of weather we’ve had in the last few weeks.

“En­sur­ing that you have a healthy fish­ery is the best way to keep is­sues such as KHV at bay, and I’d ad­vise any owner that hasn’t had any ad­vice on the is­sue to get in touch.”

There’s a good rea­son for this warn­ing.

Spread your keep­nets and land­ing nets out in the sun and stop the spread of KHV.

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