Mozambique bans fish imports from Malawi

03 Sep, 2020 - 14:09 0 Views
Mozambique bans fish imports from Malawi

The Chronicle

THE Mozambican government has announced an immediate ban on the import of fish from the Malawian district of Ntchisi, where an outbreak of the fish disease epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS), also known as red spot disease (RSD) has been reported.

EUS is caused by the fungus Aphanomyces invadans, and the mortality rate in aquaculture can be 100 per cent.

Mozambican Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries Minister Augusta Maita told the media after the weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday that the ban was intended to prevent the spread of the fungus into Mozambique.

Maita said while there was no indication that the disease had already reached Mozambican waters, her ministry was training fish farmers and technical staff to recognise the symptoms of EUS.

The disease was first discovered in Japan in 1971, and since then has been diagnosed in several other countries in Asia, America and Africa.

About 12 years ago there was an outbreak in Botswana, but the fungus did not reach Mozambique that time either.

“Right now, we are making every effort to avoid the spread of the disease into our waters,” said Maita, urging fishermen to be vigilant and to alert the authorities if they discover any cases. When the outbreak was first reported in July, the Malawian authorities alerted other member Southern African Development Community (Sadc) countries. The Mozambican fisheries authorities have revived the epidemiological surveillance system, first implemented in response to the Botswana outbreak.

– AIM/New Ziana

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