The USDA's Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service announced an emergency order Tuesday banning the import of certain species of live fish from Ontario and Quebec and the interstate movement of those same fish in the Great Lakes region. The order comes in response to viral hemorrhagic septicemia outbreaks.
VHS is spreading rapidly in the Great Lakes region and poses a potentially serious problem for a growing number of species of fish. Several outbreaks of the disease occurred in the Great Lakes in 2006, killing many Yellow Perch, Walleye, Freshwater Drum, and other species. VHS is a viral disease that can cause internal hemorrhaging and death in fish.
The APHIS measure prohibits the movement of certain live fish species out of any states bordering the Great Lakes and the import of the same species from Ontario and Quebec.
As more species of fish become potentially susceptible, the list of affected species will be updated. For a list of fish included in the order and more information about VHS, see www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/aqua.