May 30, 2018
Tasmania's salmon farms threatened by deadly virus POMV
Some 1.35 million salmon have died since October 2017 in Tasmania due to a deadly virus known as pilchard orthomyxovirus (POMV), the Australian state's Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) confirmed on Tuesday, May 29, Xinhua reported.
The disease, believed to be transferred from wild populations in the Macquarie Harbour, is threatening Tasmania's lucrative salmon-farming industry.
EPA director Wes Ford told local media that POMV has severely affected commercial fish-farms operated by Huon Aquaculture, Petuna and Tassal.
"It hit all three companies across the majority of leases, so that is troubling from the point of view of the management of that disease," Ford said.
The area's salmon producers are investing heavily in the search for a vaccine while at the same time, the EPA would reduce Macquarie Harbour's biomass limit by over 20% over the next two years, to ease the spread of the virus, the Xinhua report said.
"My view is that it is prudent to adopt an approach which reduces the biomass for a sufficient time to allow harbor response to be monitored and interpreted meaningfully", Ford said.