New pest attacks salmon

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An amoeba from Tasmania has found its way to fish farms off the southwestern coast of Norway, setting off concerns that it can cause disease and death among salmon like it already has at Irish and Scottish fish farms.

Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported last week that the amoeba has shown up at around five fish farms off the coasts of Rogaland and Hordaland counties, where it’s suspected of attacking the gills of salmon and thereby reducing their oxygen intake. The disease was blamed for killing salmon at fish farms in Scotland and Ireland last summer.

The amoeba is believed to have traveled from Tasmanian waters in the ballast tanks of ships. It’s being fought with hydrogen peroxide solutions and fish farmers are preparing for battle. “This is clearly worrisom,” Atle Lillehaug of the state veterinarian institute told DN. staff