The National Agricultural Research Organization-NARO are conducting
visibility studies to confirm whether there’s any threat of
tilapia lake virus within the country.
Tilapia lake virus has been reported in countries like Kenya, and Egypt where
it is believed to stop fish multiplication resulting into fish depletion from
the lake and farms at large.
The revelation comes after fishermen along the eastern part of Lake Victoria
raised complaints on the shortage of the tilapia fish species.
Fish farmers mainly those dealing in cage fish farming and ponds within Namayingo
district have also reported death of tilapia, citing a strange illness which
spreads on a high rate as the fish reproduces.
However, NARO’s senior research assistant, John Walakira dismisses such claims
arguing that reports of the virus were first reported in 2015 after some fish
farms faced moralities from parasites and fungi infections which prompted
studies on Lake Victoria and affected farms.
He adds that the lake has not experienced severe death of tilapia fish in the
past two years.
He stresses that NARO has embarked on the screening process of the tilapia fish
from the different fish farms all over the country to ascertain whether there are
traces of any virus within them.
Walakira says that there are proven tilapia viruses globally, however, none of
them has been detected in the country.
//cue in: “viruses are still…
Cue out…to ascertain that,”
Walakira further says that, tilapia also faces a threat of ISN virus which has
similar characteristics like those of tilapia lake virus adding that,
researchers within the country are collaborating with their counterparts in the
affected countries, and the international animal health to learn more about the
new virus and how to prevent it from spreading to other parts of the world.
He reveals that the research teams are also investigating possibilities of
acquiring vaccines which will be availed to fish farmers to deter the virus
from affecting the quality of tilapia.