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Request for info: marine fish parasite

paris paris at merck.com
Wed Jul 9 16:07:39 EST 1997

Ron Huber wrote:
> The dinoflagellate Pfiesteria piscicida, responsible for large fish kills
> in North Carolina waters and presently infesting Chesapeake Bay, could
> pose a threat to Maine coastal fisheries, if it is transported in bulk
> cargo vessel ballast water. Some Maine forestry companies may begin
> selling woodchips to North Carolina mills, Vessels coming from N.
> Carolina to pick up woodchip in Maine could bring large quantities of
> this pest in the million+ gallons of ballast water it will taken on prior
> to leaving N Carolina and discharge into Maine waters before taking on
> woodechips.
> Any info on whether this parasite is known to survive ballast water
> travels would be most appreciated.
> Ron Huber, director
> Coastal Waters Project
> email coastwatch at acadia.net

For the majority of flagellates progress of the disease can be delayed 
(maybe even eliminated in the case of balast) by the reduction of 
lighting and colder temperatures and organic loading but this is usually 
the case for aquariums. I would think that if the balast is contained for 
a certainly long period of time then the flagellates may be eliminated by 
the time it reaches Maine. 

As to does it survive balast waters - I don't know maybe a global search 
would be your best bet, i.e. reference to Holland fisheries or such areas 
that depend on fish for a large portion of their diets, may be a lead for 

Good luck

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