Scientists have now confirmed the existence of a threat to tilapia species of fish in Lake Victoria, a virus they referred to as Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV).
An ongoing training in Kisumu organized by the United Nations (FAO) is focusing on a better understanding of the disease that is capable of mass death of the tilapia species of up-to 1,000 fish a single day.
Caleb Ogwai, a researcher in fish diseases and health at Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) based in Kisumu has confirmed that they can not ignore the threat.
He has said that they are establishing a fish health department to look at the fish diseases in the rivers, lake, and dams in the Kenyan part of Lake Victoria.
“In Kenya part of the lake we have not encountered the virus, but in Uganda, they have spotted the virus given that we are in one system we expect to be ready for it when it invades,”Ogwai said.
Currently, there are no reports or any evidence that the virus has human health impact but the threat is on the production of Tilapia species which is one of the most important cultured species and affordable to many people.
The virus was first detected in Israel in 2009 and led to massive tilapia deaths.
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