Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Fish Diseases Threaten Food Supply In Warm Climates

(ISNS) -- A rise in fish farms has meant cheap, fast-growing protein to feed the world's growing human population. But a new study suggests that countries located at lower latitudes – many of which rely heavily on fish farming – may be most at risk for fish disease outbreaks. The tropical environments in countries near the equator are ripe for breeding waterborne pathogens. 

Aquaculture, the technical term for the farming of aquatic plants and animals, is the fastest-growing agricultural industry in the world. The term refers to farming in all sorts of water environments, including ponds, rivers, lakes and controlled areas in the ocean. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, more than 90 percent of these fish farms are located in developing countries, which often have warm, tropical environments, conducive to raising fish year-round. 

A study published earlier this year in the Journal of Applied Ecology, however, shows that operations near the equator are also more prone to dangerous and rapid disease outbreaks that could wipe out entire stocks of fish.


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