Spring 2009 Special on Virkon Aquatic

Starting April 1, 09,  Virkon Aquatic is priced at 20% off regular pricing at Western Chemical.  This is the best price ever offered on Virkon Aquatic and it is a good time to stock up.  
Virkon Aquatic is a Disinfectant / Virucide for use in disinfecting fish hauling trucks, boats, trailers, waders, nets, dive suits, tanks, equipment, sampling gear, fishing tackle etc. It is ideal for use in disinfecting foot baths.  In many facilities it is being used as an alternative to bleach, Iodophore, and quaternary ammonia for routine disinfection and biosecurity tasks.
Advantages  of Virkon Aquatic solution include:
Effective - Kills Viruses, Bacteria, Fungi, Mold.
Fast acting - 10 minutes is maximum contact time needed.
Non corrosive - Safe for metals, neoprene, boots, netting, plastics etc.
Non Irritating - Solutions are non Irritating to skin and eyes.
Minimal Environmental Effect -  Decomposes to inorganic salts.
Labeling – EPA approved for use in aquaculture
Virkon Aquatic is available in 10 pound Tubs and new single use packets. The attached flyer will provide more information on Virkon Aquatic and our Spring 2009 Special. The special is in effect for a limited time only so don’t delay. 
For  more information on Virkon Aquatic visit our website at:   
Please let me know if you have an questions.
Best Regards,
Ron Malnor

Director of Sales
Western Chemical Inc.- An Aquatic Life Sciences Company
Office 1(800) 283-5292,  (360) 384-5898
Mobile: (360) 303-4297,  Fax: (360) 384-0270
ronm@wchemical.com www.wchemical.com
1269 Lattimore Road, Ferndale, Washington USA  98248

VHS Interim Rule Delayed Indefinitely

Here's the page from today's (01/02/09) Federal Register which contains the notice of delay of eff. date of the VHS interim rule:

VHS indef. delay eff. date in FR.01.02.09

Man fined for moving bait from VHS-positive waters

Owen Sound Sun Times, Ontario,CA
One Meaford-area commercial bait fisherman was fined $1,000 and another received a suspended sentence for moving bait fish that may have been infected with the fish disease viral hemorrhagic septicemia.

Bradley Wass, 49, was fined and Kenneth Wass, 21, received a suspended sentence after they both pleaded guilty to violating conditions of their commercial bait licence, the Ministry of Natural Resources said in a news release.

Justice of the Peace Bridgette Forster heard the case in Provincial Offences Court in Walkerton on Sept. 9.

The court heard that in October 2007 the men caught more than 1,000 litres of spottail shiners in the Bighead River, where viral hemorrhagic septicemia has been detected. VHS is harmless to humans but kills fish through internal organ failure.

They transported the fish to West Grey, where the disease has not been detected, the MNR says.

The disease, which affects a number of species including spottail shiners, may be spread by moving fish, water, vessels or equipment that has had contact with the virus, the MNR said.

To slow the spread of this disease in Ontario, the MNR established a management zone containing Ontario's virus-positive waters. Moving live bait fish from this zone to a disease-free zone is banned because it creates a serious risk that the virus will spread, the news release said.

Tens of thousands of fish infected with VHS have been found dead in Lake Ontario and Lake Huron. The virus mutated to exist in freshwater fish after its discovery first in saltwater fish in Europe.

About 20 Ontario fish ladders, including local ladders, were closed for a week in March 2007, then reopened, amid howls of protest from anglers and fishing clubs that doing so wouldn't stop the spread of a new threat to fish in the lower Great Lakes.



VHS Q&A document

APHIS has published the VHS Interim Rule in the Federal Register, and updated the documents defining species and areas affected by the Interim Rule.


We have also placed a Q&A document on the VHS Interim Rule under "In the News" on the APHIS web site:


There is a 60 day comment period on the rule; however the rule will go into effect on November 10, 2008 as currently written.  We will take comments into consideration when we finalize the rule at a future date.

Thank you,

P. Gary Egrie, VMD
Senior Staff Veterinary Medical Officer, Aquaculture Program
United States Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
4700 River Road, Unit 46
Riverdale, MD 20737
(301) 734-0695 (Office)
(301) 734-4982 (Fax)
(240) 460-5986 (Cell)

New Ballast Treatment Could Protect Great Lakes Fish

ScienceDaily (Jun. 4, 2008) — A Michigan Technological University professor has developed a new water treatment that could help keep a deadly fish disease out of Lake Superior.

David Hand, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Michigan Tech, has devised a simple way to treat ballast water in vessels ranging from pleasure craft to ore boats. His method is designed to kill the virus that causes viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS), an often-fatal disease that has been attacking fish populations in the lower Great Lakes.

Hand's treatment is simple. The ballast water is disinfected with sodium hypochlorite—ordinary household bleach. Then it is treated with ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, which neutralizes the bleach before the water is released into the lake.


Great Invasion of the Lakes


After 20 years of coping with zebra mussels, no comprehensive strategy is yet in place to deter the ongoing threat to the Great Lakes
MAY 11, 2008

That may be the truest -- and cruelest -- elegy delivered as the Great Lakes mark the 20th anniversary of the discovery of zebra mussels on June 1, 1988, in Lake St. Clair. It comes from Carol Stepien, a University of Toledo researcher who studies gobies -- another notorious invader -- and who has found at least 18 more goby varieties in Europe that would probably love to call the Great Lakes home.

Freshwater species that originated in tributaries around the Black and Caspian Seas seem to adore the Great Lakes, and various Eurasian species had been showing up since the St. Lawrence Seaway opened to foreign ships in 1959. But most were microscopic plants and animals.

Zebra mussels showed how readily a bigger invader could not just survive, but thrive, threatening to wipe out some native species and alter the food web so drastically that even big lake fish no longer had enough food. It was not the first, it may not even be the worst, but it surely is the poster child for a problem that no one has yet had the will to address.

Click here for the entire article:

Fishfarmer Magazine: Genetics research sheds light on Great Lakes' fishvirus

Fish Farmer Magazine: http://www.fishfarmer-magazine.com

USA: Genetics research sheds light on Great Lakes’ fish virus

24 January, 2008 -
A DEVASTATING virus that has killed thousands of fish in the Great Lakes over the past few years is different from other strains of the same virus found in Europe and the West Coast of the United States, according to new genetic research by the US Geological Survey.

The Great Lakes' strain of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) is the only strain outside of Europe that has been associated with significant die-offs of freshwater fish species.

VHSV is a rhabdovirus that is the causative agent of one of the most dangerous viral diseases of fish, says Dr Jim Winton, a fisheries scientist at the USGS Western Fisheries Research Centre (WFRC) in Seattle. The virus belongs to a family of viruses that includes rabies. The disease causes internal bleeding in fish, but is not harmful to people.

Winton and co-authors Gael Kurath and William Batts recently authored a new USGS fact sheet that describes important genetic information about isolates of VHSV from the Great Lakes region. Other strains of the VHS virus are found in continental Europe, North Pacific Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, Baltic Sea and North Sea.

"This Great Lakes strain appears to have an exceptionally broad host range," said Winton. "Significant die-offs have occurred in
muskellunge, freshwater drum, yellow perch, round goby, emerald shiners and gizzard shad."

Genetic research at the WFRC and by colleagues from Canada showed that this strain of the virus was probably introduced into the Great Lakes in the last five to 10 years, and that the fish die-offs occurring among different species and in different lakes should be considered as one large ongoing epidemic. The USGS genetic research also indicated that the Great Lakes' strain of the virus was not from Europe, where three other strains of the virus occur, but more likely had its origin among marine or estuarine fish of the Atlantic seaboard of North America. The strain is genetically most like samples of VHSV recovered during 2000-2004 from diseased fish in areas of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada.

The Great Lakes' strain has now been isolated from more than 25 species of fish in Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake St Clair, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Saint Lawrence River and from inland lakes in New York, Michigan and Wisconsin. Experts fear the disease could potentially spread from the Great Lakes into new populations of native fish in the 31 states of the Mississippi River basin. Also, if VHS virus is introduced into the aquaculture industry, it could lead to trade restrictions as well as direct
losses from the disease.

Regulatory agencies in the United States and Canada have already placed restrictions on the movement of fish or fish products that could pose a risk for the spread of VHS virus to regions outside of the known geographic range. These restrictions include requirements for viral examinations by standard methods.

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com is published by Special Publications.
Publications also publishes FISHupdate.com, FISHupdate magazine, Fish
Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors
Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners

Distributed without profit to those who have expressed an interest in
receiving aquatic invasive species information for research and

Intensify efforts to halt invaders

December 30, 2007
E-mails arrive daily warning of new efforts to open huge acreages of Western wilderness to gas and oil drilling, clear cut forests on mountains vulnerable to erosion, destroy major fish stocks in the ocean or pollute the skies and waters with mercury and greenhouse gasses.

Continuing threats to the places where we hunt, fish and camp illustrate that while things are better than 30 or 40 years ago, all we've really done is slow down the rate at which we are destroying our environment.

Sometimes efforts to turn it around get harder, as under the administration of President George W. Bush, perhaps the worst environmental knuckle dragger in living memory. But even under the better administrations, things have gotten worse, because our system encourages politicians to sell out to those who profit from environmental degradation.

There isn't enough money or public interest to solve many of the problems. But one thing we can do is to concentrate our efforts on ending the continued introduction of exotic species into the Great Lakes by ships coming in from the oceans.

On this one, the good guys are winning. States are passing stricter ballast control measures than the Environmental Protection Agency, which has sold out to the businesses that want saltwater ships to continue to come into the Great Lakes with little or no controls.

But we have hard evidence now about how much damage they cause. John Taylor at Grand Valley State has shown us how much more they cost our economy than they add to it.

And we know from the work of David Lodge at Notre Dame that not only is the threat from ballast water inside the ships greater than we thought, the growths on the outsides of ships may be an even more significant source of invaders.

Politicians are loath to afflict the well-connected, and most bureaucrats are too timid to upset the politicians. So it's imperative that we see that researchers, such as Taylor and Lodge, get the support they need to continue their studies.

It's that kind of solid economic and scientific data that allows the private groups that are the real protectors of our environment -- the National Wildlife Federations, Sierra Club, Audubon Society, American Lung Association and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership -- to do two things that are important.

One is to sue bad guys and the government when necessary. The other is to make the public aware of failures of government, because politicians won't bite the hand that fills their campaign coffers unless they are afraid of losing races.

We will also need to protect our lakes from envious drought-ridden states within a very few years. Only days ago, a federal judge imposed new restrictions on the millions of people who use Colorado River water for agricultural, industrial and domestic purposes. So much water has been taken out of that river that it no longer reaches the sea at its mouth in Mexico. What was once one of the richest river deltas in North America for wildlife production is now cracked, dried mud for much of the year.

So while it won't hurt to make the usual New Year's resolutions about losing weight and stopping smoking, why don't we all add this one: 2008 will be the year in which we see the Great Lakes provided with meaningful and effective protection at all levels of government.

ERIC SHARP at 313-222-2511 or esharp@freepress.com.