Carp mortalities continued at The Lough and Belvelly Lake over the weekend. The total count from The Lough now stands at 853 and 270 from Belvelly, a combined total of 1,123.

IFI officers removed a further 980 kg of carp remains for disposal on Friday 18th, bringing the total weight of destroyed fish to 4,780 KG. On a positive note, there were no mortalities reported from The Lough today, Monday 21st May.

The Marine Institute has confirmed that the virus detected in carp from the Lough and Belvelly is carp edema virus (CEV), genotype 1 which is the type usually associated with outbreaks of Viral Edema of Carp (also known as Koi Sleepy Disease) in common carp. This genotype differs from previous detections of CEV in ornamental koi carp in Ireland which were genotype 2.

Molecular tests for Koi Herpesvirus Disease (KHV), a listed disease under European Fish Health legislation, were negative for all fish sampled. Additional molecular tests for cyprinid herpesvirus (other than KHV) are also in progress.

The gills and skin of the sampled fish revealed an extremely high infestation of trichodinid parasites along with a fungal infection. White spots on the scales were also microscopically examined but there was no evidence of Ichthyophthirius multifilius infection.

Virological screening for Spring Viraemia of Carp is still ongoing with no virus observed to date. Bacteriological tests have revealed no growth of bacteria.

“The loss of significant numbers of carp in the two lakes highlights the need for vigilance among anglers and other recreational users of Irish waters in the cleaning of their equipment and gear thoroughly after use, and also for the need for fishery owners and members of the public to be aware of the potential risk of transferring fish that may carry disease into the wild, and to never release ornamental fish into lakes or rivers”. – Dr. Jeff Fisher, Director of Marine Environment and Food Safety Service at the Marine Institute.

IFI will meet with representatives from the MI and Cork County Council to review the situation and discuss steps to be taken on Thursday 24th May.