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Scores of Dolphin Deaths Have Scientists Baffled in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Since late last year, four or five dolphin carcasses have beached in Brazil each day. Scientists have confirmed that a virus is to blame, but the mortalities still have conservationists baffled.
 
The Associated Press reports more than 130 gray dolphins have washed up in the Bay of Sepetiba, a coastal area about 45 miles west of Rio de Janeiro, since late November. Another 40 dolphin carcasses were found on the neighboring island of Ilha Grande. Combined, that’s more than 20 percent of the area’s known dolphin population, which, at an estimated 800, may be the highest concentration of the species in the world.
 
Local conservation NGOs like the Boto Cinza Institute and SOS Botos have examined the carcasses’ skin, blood, and bones under the suspicion that a bacterium or virus was to blame. The School of Oceanography at the State University of Rio de Janeiro confirmed that cetacean morbillivirus, which can infect dolphins, porpoises, and whales, killed the marine mammals.
 
But scientists aren’t sure what caused the outbreak, or how long it might last. They are still trying to determine other reasons for the dolphin die-off.
 
The virus attacks the animals’ immune systems, resulting in skin lesions, pneumonia, and different types of infections. Boto Cinza Institute chief coordinator Leonardo Flach told StoryTrender in early January that if a pathogen-related disease was diagnosed, 70 to 80 percent of the population could die. Cetacean mirbillivirus can spread between animals through inhalation or contact. Often living in pods of up to 200 individuals, dolphins have close relationships, and a contagious illness could be devastating.
 
“One day we will find dolphin corpses that are male and adults, and the next day, female and [young]. But most of them are skinny and with deep skin lesions,” Flach tells ABC News.
 
In the northeastern United States, strains of morbillivirus killed harbor seals in 2006 and bottlenose dolphins between 1987 and 1988. The disease caused more dolphin die-offs in the Gulf of Mexico in 1992 and 1994. There have been no documented cased of morbillivirus in people, or in the fish or shellfish we might eat.
 
Gray dolphins are listed as data deficient, but Flach says the species should be considered endangered. In the past, the mortality rate of the area’s gray dolphins was about five each month, attributed to overfishing and chemical pollution. In 2016, 69 of the marine mammals were reported dead and in 2010, 32 dolphins were found dead.
 
Flach says areas surrounding Rio de Janeiro are very polluted and illegal dolphin hunting is rampant. The Bay of Sepetiba is bordered by condominiums, shipyards, and ports, but it’s unclear how the development could be affecting the marine mammals.
 
“They are an endangered species,” Flach says, “but with now this unknown disease, we hope to be able to put more pressure on the officials to help us to save the dolphins.”
Courtesy of news.nationalgeographic.com
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Massive die off of catfish in the Yangtze River in China

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The incidence of catfish catfish from March 18 from the sporadic death, to the late April incidence increased, the rapid growth of death, there have been 300 acres of ponds died every day 100,000 kilograms of cases, the peak of Dafeng, Sheyang, etc. The amount of dead fish per day more than 120 million pounds. 
 
Since mid-March in Jiangsu coastal catfish catfish disease since the efforts in many efforts, has come up with the prevention and treatment programs, and achieved good results, but on May 17 received the phone on the farmers, told the breeding of the channel catfish died The amount of the last few days from 100 per day to three thousand tail, I think it is necessary for the recent catfish channel for the prevention and treatment of the case to sum up, to the farmers a little reference. 
 
Channel catfish domestic consumer market is becoming more mature, the price tends to be stable, and there is considerable profit margins, in this context, Jiangsu coastal farming area gradually expanded in Yancheng formed about 40,000 acres of aquaculture concentrated area, mainly in the Dafeng’s deer fishery, Shanghai farm, Jianfeng farm, Sheyang’s Linhai farm, Sheyang salt field, Nanjing military area non-staple food base and so on. Recently the area of ​​the catfish has occurred in an acute, serious loss of disease, a large amount of death, so many farmers lose confidence.
Courtesy of shuichan.cc

2,200 reindeer to be killed due to disease in Nordfjella, Norway

In a controversial decision, Norway’s agriculture minister has said he would have 2,200 wild reindeer killed in the country’s southern mountain region of Nordfjella in an attempt to stop chronic wasting disease, public broadcaster NRK reported Monday.
 
“It is perhaps the hardest decision I have taken as minister for agriculture and I am sure many will question it,” Jon Georg Dale was quoted as saying.
 
Dale is acting on the advice of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority who told his ministry to quickly slaughter all reindeer in Nordfjella to stop the spread of the illness, NRK reported.
 
“This is a difficult decision, because we know that we are most likely to get new reindeer with the disease. It is, however, still necessary to eradicate the infection in the area,” he said.
 
The minister emphasized that the professional advice from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, the Norwegian Veterinary Institute and the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety was so clear that he believed it was an unavoidable decision.
 
“I have had a meeting with all three of the agencies more than once to make sure there are no other options,” Dale said.
 
The three agencies wrote that the chance of successfully eliminating the disease would be significantly reduced if the slaughter had not been completed within a year.
 
The exterminations will probably start during summer this year, he announced.
 
“I will not, finally, conclude how we choose to do this. It is possible to look into several ways, either with hunting, combining hunting and mobile slaughterhouse, or just the last,” Dale said.
 
In addition, a concrete plan must be prepared as to how to reconstruct the wild reindeer herd as quickly as possible.
 
The wild reindeer herd in Nordfjella consists of an estimated 2,200 animals, which makes up 10 percent of the Norwegian wild reindeer herd.
 
Chronic wasting disease was detected last year in three wild reindeer in Nordfjella and in two moose in the county of South Trondelag. There are no other known cases of the disease in Europe.
Courtesy of news.xinhuanet.com