Marine biologists worry over mystery disease which is wiping out fish stocks in several Cork lakes. This rare virus is deadly to carp and there are fears it could spread. Anglers have been urged not to fish in the area and to disinfect all fishing equipment. So far, nearly 400 carp have been found either dead or dying.
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) confirmed scientists at the Fish Health Unit at the Irish Marine Institute have found the carp taken from both The Lough and Belvelly Lake in Cork have tested positive for Carp Edema Virus (CEV).
CEV is a poxvirus which causes a disease known as ‘koi sleepy disease’. This affects both common carp and koi.
A dead carp found at The Lough in Cork City
An IFI spokesman said “While tests are ongoing and further tests are carried out on the CEV detected, this is being treated as a ‘suspect positive’ and is not confirmed as the causative agent of the mortalities until all tests have been completed”.
Ireland South MEP Liadh Ní Riada is also concerned:
“The deaths of hundreds of fish is bad enough but the fact that whatever has caused it seems to be spreading to other lakes is deeply concerning.
“The Lough is a landmark of the city and treasured by the residents so nobody wants to see it closed or access restricted. The same is true of Belvelly Lake in Cobh which is a beautiful spot, as much loved by the locals as it is by anglers“.
This disturbing occurrence is not too dissimilar to a mysterious case nine years ago. Several ducks and swans were found dead in 2009. The cause was later found to be a type of botulism which was linked to toxins coming up from the lake floor and combined with copious amounts of bread which was thrown into the water.
Click here to LIKE our Facebook page for news, deals and advice.