From August, 17 licensed fishing in Murmansk region rivers Kola, Tuloma and Kitsa is prohibited. The ban is due to massive loss of Atlantic salmon. The epidemic is poorly studied, and according to conservative estimates, it has already killed more than 1,000 specimen. The regional government is seriously concerned about the environmental disaster.
Fishermen raised the alarm a month and a half ago. They noticed the fish covered with light spots pass by the fishing rods and have no interest in bait. When studying the washed ashore specimen there was mucus found in gills and all scales were affected by a white raid.
Murmansk Veterinary commitee sent soil and water tests to Moscow. Fish with signs of desease were found not only in the Kola river, but in rivers Tuloma, Pecha and Ura as well. However, the results of studies have not yet been clarified.
As the Chairman of Murmansk Veterinary Commitee Aleksey Kasatkin explained, for now the basic version of the disease spread is a blood pressure-necrosis, which affects only wild salmon. There are no measures of the desease treatment. The illness has actually not been studied yet. A salmon weakened by virus is immediately struck by saprolegnegnioz fungus. Tha last one is most active in cold water, while the water temperature in the rivers where the cases of mass death were recorded is being abnormally low last month.
Veterinars still cannot answer the main question, where the fish was infected. The series of inspections showed cage farms could not be the cause of Atlantic wild salmon mass death. There are no cases of fish getting infected in Russian or Norvegian farms recorded. The infection is not dangerous for humans, but the experts advise to disinfect all gear used by those who previously fished in the waters.
Alexander Borisov, «7х7»