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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.