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Weekly Overview: Native UK Mussels Under Threat from Invasive Freshwater Mussel

14 October 2014

ANALYSIS - The invasive quagga mussel has recently been found in Wraysbury Reservoir and the Wraysbury River, a tributary of the River Colne, in Surrey, UK, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.

"This pest will smother and kill our native mussels, block water pipes and foul boat hulls," said Dr David Aldridge, co-author from the University of Cambridge's Department of Zoology, who confirmed the quagga find.

This is the first UK record of this species and there is no effective eradication method for quagga mussel once it has established

Norwegian research company Nofima has investigated how the risk of disease in cod aquaculture can be minimised through selective breeding.

Nofima scientist Rama Bangera studied the effect that the cod’s genes have on its resistance to three fatal diseases (two caused by bacteria (vibriosis and francisellosis) and one caused by nodavirus (viral nervous necrosis)) and found that the resistance can be increased by selective breeding. 

New research from YouGov as part of a Seafish 'Fish is the Dish' campaign has found that 96 per cent of UK adults do not know the recommended amount of omega-3 that they should eat per week.

The study also found that only 27 per cent of adults recognise they should eat two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily.

Juliette Kellow, Fish is the Dish resident consultant dietician and nutrition expert explains: “There is work to be done educating people on how much omega-3 rich fish we should be eating in order to reap the benefits for our bodies. As a starting point, we need to do more to ensure that people understand the very simple message that they should eat two portions of fish each week, and one of these should be oily such as mackerel, sardines, pilchards, herring, fresh tuna, trout or salmon. If people achieve this, then they should get the 3g of long-chain omega-3 fats, recommended by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition.” 

A coalition of US consumer and advocacy organizations have called on the Office of Management and Budget to create an inspection programme for domestic and imported catfish.

The 2008 Farm Bill mandated the creation of such a programme, to be administered by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which was supposed to be implemented by December 2009, said Food and Water Watch.

Americans want to be sure that the catfish they eat and feed their families is safe, yet bowing to pressure from importers and other nations, the Obama administration continues to hold up the implementation of this important rule. Enough is enough,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. 

The Food and Drug Administration currently regulates catfish. Domestic catfish processors are subject to FDA inspections once every five to 10 years and only two per cent of imported catfish gets inspected. 

Lucy Towers

Lucy Towers
News Team - Editor

After graduating from The University of Sheffield, Lucy joined 5M in 2011 as part of the News Desk team. In 2012, she was promoted to editor of TheFishSite. With previous farming experience and a love for the great outdoors, Lucy has a passion for wildlife and the environment.



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