Archive | April 3, 2015

Die off of fish in Araruama Lagoon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fish Kill Alert

Die off of fish in Araruama Lagoon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Spike in sick and dying bats ‘sparks concern’ in Broome, Australia

A spike in cases of a deadly bat virus in some parts of Australia’s north has sparked concern, with dying animals being found in the streets close to schools and childcare centres.
Australian bat lyssavirus is similar to rabies, causing a rapid death if passed from an animal to a human.
In recent months, it has been detected in 11 bats in the West Australian town of Broome in the Kimberley region.
Prior to that, there had been only two cases identified in Western Australia in a decade.
There has also been an increase in sick bats being found in Queensland.
Senior Public Health nurse Ashley Eastwood is based in Broome and has been monitoring the numbers.
“In 2014, we became aware that something was happening in the bat colony with these cases popping up,” she said.
“We don’t know exactly what’s caused it.
“There are investigations going on through the Department of Parks and Wildlife, and the Department of Agriculture, wondering what’s actually going on in the colony.
“There’s been speculation perhaps lots of fires around last year, there’s a particularly hot season, and that could be disturbing that colony.”
Human infections occurred in Australia in 1996, 1998, and 2013 and proved fatal in all three cases.
Of concern is also the fact that several of the dying bats had been located right in the middle of ‘Old Broome’, on thoroughfares used by children to get to school each day.
Ms Eastwood said the Health Department was running an education campaign targeting local schools.
“We have ‘children and bats’ posters and flyers in schools, just providing children with some education around bats,” she said
“It’s saying to children that if you find an injured or orphaned flying bat or dead bat, not to handle it, but to let an adult know who will notify parks and wildlife, or a wildlife carer.”
People are being urged not to touch a bat they find sick or injured on the ground and try to avoid being swooped.
If someone is scratched or bitten, they are advised to wash the wound thoroughly for at least five minutes with warm soapy water, and seek medical attention immediately.
Courtesy of

Hundreds of fish ‘suddenly die’ in Georges River, ‘reason unknown’ in NSW, Australia

Hundreds of dead fish were found floating in the Georges River on Saturday.
A fisherman called the Environmental Protection Authority after noticing the river surface was clogged with dead fish, leading to a snap investigation of the site.
There have been suggestions a chemical spill caused the fish deaths but authorities are still unsure as to what happened.
An EPA spokeswoman said early tests of the water found the pH, conductivity and oxygen levels were normal.
Liverpool Council was ­notified and, due to the enormity of the task, emergency services were called in to help clean up.
St Andrews Fire Station duty commander Rob Jansen said four boats were ­required to set up boom nets and collect the dead fish over the weekend.
Carp, bass, mullet, yellow bellies and eels were all found floating in the river.
“We have absolutely no idea what caused it, it ­depends on the findings of the EPA,” Mr Jansen said.
“The full set of test results are due back to the EPA in the next couple of days and this should give us an idea of the type of pollution present, whether there is pesticide or metals impacting fish, for ­example,” the EPA spokeswoman said.
The latest incident follows Sydney Water Corporation agreeing to pay $100,000 to Liverpool Council after a pollution incident at the Glenfield Water Recycling Plant in Macquarie Fields in November 2013.
In that incident, the equivalent of 153 Olympic swimming pools of sewage wastewater was discharged into Bunbury Curran Creek, which flows into the Georges River.
Courtesy of

500 sheep have died from disease in Salento, Italy

After the olive trees, it is the turn of the sheep: a strain of the most violent “bluetongue small ruminant”, known as “blue tongue”, has already been sentenced to death in 500 head Leccese. The highest peak is expected in June and July, and the risk that the disease face buying up other livestock warns the entire livestock sector. The veterinarians of the ASL are ready to go with prophylaxis, but there is no availability of sera in Puglia. The reason? “We did two races for the purchase of 10 thousand vaccines, for an amount of EUR 400 thousand. Went both deserted. They did not forward any company and that worries me. Now we are waiting for the results of the third call, published on 11 February. We moved from the beginning. ” 
The Regional Minister for Health, Donato Pentassuglia, has a grudge, after the letter that Coldiretti sent to him and his colleague with responsibility for Agriculture, Fabrizio Nardoni. “An intervention unworthy, inappropriate and not very fair – says Pentassuglia – because I have met the leaders of the trade association at least twice, explaining all the way done, and I said after two hours, Friday afternoon, in that letter that you send us.” But for the president of Coldiretti Puglia, Gianni Cantele, “our farmers can no longer wait. Continue the count of dead animals, already amounted to more than 500 units only in the province of Lecce, and the risk that the number goes up gradually is a sad reality. ” 
Are at least sixteen, between suspects and ascertained cases found in Salento, especially in the central area, around Maglie, and Grecia. Other outbreaks were reported in the other provinces, at least three in Brindisi, Taranto two to five in Bari and Foggia in four, according to data of the national information system on “Bluetongue”. Only unscathed is the Bat, spared, for now, by the spread of “serotype 4”. This is, in fact, the flu strain that is creating more hardships: grafted into uncharted territory, found easy way for its development, exacerbating the symptoms of fever that so far this was yes, but in milder forms. To prevent the spread of the disease, this could lead to inhibit any movement of leaders interested in transhumance in the province of Foggia.
“The start of the vaccination campaign – said Angelo Corsetti, director of Coldiretti Puglia, in that letter – can not go beyond March, to prevent births of subjects disvitali and teratogenic effects during gestation. Thus, we ask what steps the departments of Health and Agri-Resources of the Puglia Region intend to pursue to compensate livestock farms damaged, with heavy losses in the number of animals raised, also in view of the difficult moment that lives the world of agriculture in the province of Lecce , already seriously affected by the pathogen from quarantine ‘Xylella fastidiosa’ ‘. 
The problem, in fact, is all in the time that is about to expire. It reiterates the document prepared by the reference center the Livestock Research Institute of Teramo on future scenarios of “Bluetongue”: the exhortations of the Ministry of Health with respect, in particular, to the provinces of Brindisi, Taranto and Lecce say that vaccination should cover at least 80 percent of the animals of susceptible species (cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats) present. And, for 2015, the campaign must be completed by April, and then be repeated for at least two or three years, with priorities for action on sheep subject to the movement and the residents of the areas bordering the provinces free . 
The Region is ready to put on the table up to 4 million euro for the prophylaxis and is already thinking about a plan B, in case the new call for tenders were to end up in a dead end. “We are in contact with other regions, such as Sardinia, which has quantities of vaccines beyond measure and still suitable. But since we are not a private individual, we must regulate the purchase by another public body. A bureaucratic issues to be solved in a short time. “
Courtesy of

Fish kill discovered in Manila Bay, Philippines

Fish Kill Alert

“The Bureau of Fisheries and Acquatic Resources (BFAR) has revealed that oxygen depletion in the waters near the Manila Yacht Club may have caused a fish kill yesterday morning, Monday, February 16,” report Evelyn Macairan and Czeriza Valencia in The Philippine Star.
The report noted: “The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) confirmed that dozens of dead mullet fish were seen floating in Manila Bay near the breakwater.”
BFAR found out that the dissolved oxygen levels from three sampling stations were at 1.2. That is, as the report indicated, “way below the normal oxygen level of 5 or more” to be able to sustain marine life.
The PCG likewise added, “Apparently, the water quality in the Manila Yacht Club breakwater is polluted due to stagnation, hence the cause of the fish kill.”
The PCG also pointed out that “there had been no chemical or oil spills that could cause the fish kill.”
Courtesy of

Hundreds of dead fish found in a dam in Castelo Branco, Portugal

The same source said the GNR is to ascertain the cause of fish death in that reservoir which is near the industrial area of ​​Castelo Branco. 
“A patrol Protection Agency of Nature and Environment (SEPNA) Castelo Branco went to the site and confirmed the situation [fish kills]. Water samples were collected and some fish, which followed for analysis,” said the captain Miguel Silva .
The White Castle GNR also produced an official report that went to the prosecutor.
“We have a survey of the dam and tributaries that converge there and it’s all being evaluated,” said Miguel Silva.
According to this official, this time “is premature and unwise to proceed with any causes” for the death of fish in that reservoir.
Courtesy of Jornal De Noticias

4,500 Birds killed due to avian flu in Bauchi State, Nigeria

Bird Flu

The Avian influenza, also known as bird flu, has hit three local government areas of Bauchi State, affecting 14,666 birds out of which about 4,508 have so far been culled by government officials.

According to the Director, Veterinary Services, in the state Ministry of Animal Resources and Nomadic Resettlement, Dr Bala Lucshi, who disclosed this to journalists on Sunday, five farms were affected in Bauchi, Katagum and Toro local government areas of the state.
He explained that the birds culled by officials from the ministry included chickens, turkeys and pigeons, adding that the outbreak was first recorded in the state at Baraji Farms in Magama Gumau town in Toro Local Government Area on January 28.
Two farms at Inkil in Bauchi Local Government Area and Azare, the headquarters of Katagum Local Government Area are also reported to have the disease. Lucshi said the ministry had promptly moved in to ensure that the disease was curtailed so as not to spread to other parts of the state.
Samples taken from the affected farms had since been sent to the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom, Plateau State, for laboratory confirmation of the disease in the state.
He added that the earlier ban placed on movement of poultry products in and out of the state was being enforced in order to ensure strict compliance, saying that surveillance rate by officials of the ministry had been heightened.
However, he advised people of the state to ensure that they cook their poultry products very well before eating them. And for the affected farmers, the director promised that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture would compensate for each of the birds culled.
Courtesy of

Major fish kill found in a creek in Haute-Saone, France

Fish Kill Alert

According to the first elements of the investigation by the police of Jussey, the fish kill may have been caused by the accidental release of ammonia nitrogen in the Rigotte up on a farm in the town of La Rochelle. 
This Monday, February 16, the water police (ONEMA) was on hand in the morning: the mayors of surrounding municipalities and the ARS (Regional Health Agency) have been prevented. 
Samples are being analyzed at a laboratory in Vesoul. Haute-Saône Fishing Federation complained on Sunday late afternoon.
Courtesy of

1 out of every 3 seal pups born last summer have already died in California, USA

Low weights among sea lion pups on remote Channel Island breeding grounds and effects of a warmer ocean on adult females and yearlings could bring record-high strandings to Southern California beaches.
Marine mammal experts say the numbers could hit even higher levels than in 2013, which federal officials called an unusual mortality event.
Already this year, staff at marine centers from Sea World in San Diego to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito are doing nearly daily rescues.
The difference this year: Starving pups showed up as early as December. Sick females and juveniles are also being found.
In the first three weeks of the year, sea lion rescues were up almost 20 percent over 2013 at some of the marine rescue centers.
The National Marine Fisheries stranding coordinator has asked centers to provide their intakes. So far this month, Sea World in San Diego has 48 and Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach has 28. Fort MacArthur in San Pedro has 73, the Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute has 10, and the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito has 35.
Dr. Hendrik Nollens, a veterinarian at Sea World and a member of a task force assembled by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to study 2013 mass strandings, is not surprised.
Where there was no advance warning for the 2013 strandings, experts had already predicted El Niño impacts on lactating mothers and yearlings for 2015. Centers were told to gear up.
El Niño brings warm ocean waters that push down nutrient-dense upwellings that fuel ecosystem richness, forcing sea lions to hunt longer distances and do deeper dives for their prey.
“This year could be a perfect storm,” Nollens said. “An El Niño climate event affecting the females and yearlings and something still unexplained affecting the skinny pups.”
Peter Wallerstein, who owns a nonprofit organization that helps rescue sea lions for Fort MacArthur, has been out on the beaches between Pacific Palisades and Long Beach nearly every day. When schoolchildren on a beach cleanup surrounded a skinny pup, Wallerstein wrangled him in.
“Usually, a healthy sea lion will run into the water away from people,” Wallerstein said. “People do silly things. They want to get close, but sea lions have 10 times greater bite than a pit bull and they’re very quick on land, unlike a seal, which drags its body.”
The pup was one of more than 30 he’s taken to Marine Mammal Center at Fort MacArthur. The center is already 20 percent ahead of January 2013 numbers, and there’s still a week to go.
“The difference is we’re not just seeing little pups,” said Lauren Palmer, a veterinarian there. “Females and yearlings are coming in with respiratory issues and elevated abnormalities in their blood work. It’s really hard to wrap our head around the story of what’s happening.”
Sharon Melin, a wildlife biologist with the National Marine Mammal Laboratory working with National Marine Fisheries, has studied sea lion populations on San Miguel Island for more than two decades, looking for factors influencing trends in populations including El Niño, disease and competition for food.
She works with National Marine Fisheries Service as part of a research program established on San Miguel Island in 1968 bolstered with funds from the Marine Mammal Protection Act, enacted in 1972.
Melin travels to the island twice a year – once in September and once in February – to study behavior, check for disease and weigh sample newborns. She’s watched the sea lion population rise 5 percent each year until 2000. Researchers estimate there are now more than 300,000 sea lions colonizing the Channel Island rookeries.
Each June 100,000 sea lions come to the Navy-owned island. The breeding colony about 60 miles from Ventura Harbor is one of the largest in the world.
When sea lions converged on the island in 2012, there was no sign of a problem. A year later, nearly 70 percent of the newborns had died.
Many were left for days waiting on the beaches starving and losing weight. Marine mammal centers in 2013 took in more than 1,500 sea lion pups – five times higher than in a normal year.
The mothers – to nourish themselves and provide milk – swam as far as 120 miles north toward Monterrey in search of sardines and anchovies.
In the El Niño climate, some of these are scarce and they feed on less fatty fish producing less nutrient-rich milk. The mothers generally spend three to four days hunting. Diminished prey can make them stay out for six days.
In their struggle to survive, pups followed other, older sea lions out into the ocean too early. Those that made it littered Southern California beaches. Thousands more died on the islands along the way. Melin that year recorded pups at only half their previous weights.
Last year, sea lions produced just half the number of pups following the high death rate. But their weights were closer to the ideal – 37 pounds. Stranding numbers were normal.
When Melin traveled to San Miguel last September, the weights were down again. But sometimes the pups rebound. She noticed that not all of them were skinny. In some cases it seemed the mothers had figured it out and still had plump pups. She reported her findings to National Marine Fisheries, who funded another research trip out last month.
But the skinny pups had only gained 4 pounds. Melin put GPS tags on a dozen females to track their foraging habits. The tags will likely stay attached until April. Melin will compare that data with GPS tags put on sea lions after the 2013 strandings.
Later this month, she will go out again.
“We’ve told the centers to prepare for the worst,” she said.
Courtesy of

Hundreds of dead fish found floating in a lake in Bongouanou, Cote d’Ivoire, Africa

Fish Kill Alert

Hundreds of dead fish floating on the surface of the lake Kaby located opposite the main market Bongouanou, sowing psychosis among the local population. 
Residents fear indeed a pollution of the lake could cause an interruption in the supply of drinking water by the water distribution company in Côte d’Ivoire (SODECI). 
The manager SODECI to Bongouanou, Felix Doh, admits poisoning of fish. 
“Each year, after the first rain, a turnover of water causes the waste dumped by the people in the gutters that cause oxygen deficiency in the lake, causing the death carp, a very fragile fish species” he says. 
Mr. Doh therefore appeal to the people so that they avoid dump trash in the gutters. 
City Bongouanou suffered from frequent water shortages related to pollution of lakes in the city between 2010 and 2014.
Courtesy of