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Another Major Fishery Bites the Dust

Posted by feww on September 10, 2008

World’s biggest wild abalone fishery attacked by killer virus

The world’s biggest wild abalone fishery, off Australian coast of Tasmania, which accounts for a quarter of the global annual harvest, may be under threat from the destructive ganglioneuritis virus, Australian officials said.

White Abalones (Haliotus sorenseni). The White Abalone are highly endangered species. In California, prohibitions on commercial and recreational harvest of this species have been in place since 1996. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Credit: Geographer

Australia has already experience its abalone industry in nearby Victoria state devastated by the same virus.

“Our current activities are aimed at trying to determine the location and extent of any disease in the wild so we can develop appropriate control measures,” Tasmania’s chief veterinary officer said.

A rare and expensive shellfish, abalone is regarded as a delicacy in many Southeast Asian countries. Tasmania’s abalone export industry is reportedly worth about US$420 million a year. More …

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