A new virus that has decimated fish populations in Ecuador and Israel has spread to Egypt, according to a new report from the University of Stirling and WorldFish.
Scientists are now trying to establish a firm link between the virus and a recent surge in mortalities in Egyptian farmed tilapia.
Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) is a global threat to the tilapia fish farming industry, worth $7.5bn per year.
Tilapia is an important species for aquaculture because it can be grown in diverse farming systems and requires minimal fishmeal in its feed. It has a naturally high tolerance to variable water quality and can grow in both freshwater and marine environments.
It is also important in developing world contexts as it is inexpensive and easy for small-scale farmers to grow for food, nutrition and income.
In recent years, Egypt has seen increased an unprecedented mortality of farmed tilapia populations in the summer months. Surveys indicate 37% of fish farms were affected in 2015 with a potential economic impact of around $100 million.
Identifying the cause of and preventing these deaths is of significant importance in Egypt, which relies on domestic aquaculture for 60% of fish consumed. Tilapia makes up 75% of that production.
Source: Phys.org // Original Article