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Separate out runts to reduce disease risk

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FISH HEALTH NOTES BY ROD GETCHELL

The phenomenon of runts as disease carriers has not received a lot of research attention, but weighing the pros and cons of keeping them around is something fish farmers should think about.

ITHACA, NY – One of the first things I learned about fish health inspections was the importance of selecting out the runts for disease screening. Hatchery personnel have been culling the under-achievers for years, well aware that preserving the lives of stragglers at the bottom of the pecking order is often not a good idea.

Young fish or shellfish in poor condition are more likely to harbor pathogens because they have a weaker immune response. Chronic stress also increases an animal’s susceptibility to common microbes in the rearing system.

 

Read the rest and much, much more in Issue 2, 2012 of Fish Farming News.  Download now for immediate access and keep the .pdf for future reference.

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