KOI herpes virus is back in Britain - with warm water temperatures having encouraged the deadly disease.

Four venues spread throughout the country were initially confirmed as being hit by the killer koi herpes virus.

All were temporarily closed while containment measures were put in place.

These initial koi herpes virus affected fisheries were:

  • Newstead and Annesley Country Park in Nottingham
  • Parkers Fishery in West Midlands
  • Essex’s Church Lane Lake
  • Mawgan Porth Pools in Cornwall

Sam Mulholland, of Parkers Fishery, said they had lost 150 carp since the outbreak, all of which were incinerated.

Since then many more sites around the country have had problems, some being officially confirmed with koi herpes virus. They include…

  • Holme Grange Fishery, Berkshire
  • Clear Water Fisheries, Lancashire
  • Trench Pool, Shropshire
  • Old Hough Fishery, Cheshire
  • Woodside Fishery, Hereford & Worcester
  • Coopers Arms, Derby
  • K Lakes, Skegness
  • Martham Pits, Norfolk
  • J & K Aquatics Ltd Wholesale unit, Somerset
  • Blagdon Water Gardens, Somerset
  • Watermarque, Yeovil. Somerset
  • Ashland Lakes, Buckinghamshire
  • Shadwell Pool, London
This carp's gills show clear signs of it having koi herpes virus.

This carp’s gills show clear signs of it having koi herpes virus.

Tamsin Cochrane-Dyet, a fish inspector for CEFAS, explained: “Every year (koi herpes virus) cases break out at this time when water temperatures rise with the longer days. There hasn’t yet been any noticeable increase because of the heatwave.

“It is thought that many fish do passively carry the virus and it can become active if they become stressed for any reason like higher temperatures and lower oxygen levels.

“It is mainly spread by the movement of infected fish, sometimes following a restocking or by the illegal introduction of an ornamental species, and when cases are confirmed the venue is barred from all fish movement.

“It can also be spread via anglers’ nets so dipping of all nets is enforced on all venues following an outbreak. Anglers can help by always air-drying their nets.

“Research into the disease is on-going but little progress is being made at the moment so we can expect further out-breaks to occur and they could be anywhere,” she concluded.

Koi herpes virus ‘hard to eradicate’

Carp farmer and fish scientist Viv Shears said: “KHV seems to be something that is hard to eradicate, and just has to be controlled as effectively as possible when outbreaks occur.

“As a fish farmer I take every precaution to avoid it, only breeding from our own stock which is clear of the disease and disinfecting all our vehicles which deliver fish on their return.

“Fishery owners should only purchase carp from reputable sources known to be KHV free, and have good bio-security.

“Dipping of nets is a recommended practice, and compulsory afterwards until the all clear is given.

“Anglers can help by air drying their own nets in the sun, although in reality the risks of the disease spreading through nets is small.

“More outbreaks probably occur than are officially reported as smaller mixed fisheries with low carp stocks may only notice a few deaths whereas a carp commercial could lose hundreds of fish,” he added.

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