A virus that caused large fish kills in the Great Lakes since 2005 may now be harmless.
Viral hemorrhagic septicemia or VHS has been found in several spots in Lake Michigan and Lake Superior since 2009 and is blamed for large-scale fish die-offs in all of the lower Great Lakes. But now, it appears this virus is benign. VHS can cause the internal organs of fish to rupture, and it was feared that it would wipe out commercial fishing. But Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Lake Superior Fisheries Supervisor Peter Stevens in Bayfield says even though the virus is still in the lake, they haven't found any fish kills this year — not one — from VHS.
"It does not seem to be causing massive fish kills or significant impacts to the fisheries resource, so far as we can tell," he said. "There are a number of theories. We really don't have an exact answer."
Stevens says it appears fish have created their own VHS vaccine.
"Those fish species will shed a little bit of the virus every year which acts almost like a booster shot to the fish immune system, causing these antibodies to be produced."
Read the full story at the Superior Telegram>>
National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14
In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.