Status: Emerging
Start date:
Last update: 2015-06-27

IBIS is picking up articles and research news about turtle deaths occuring in Hawaii and North America.

In Hawaii:  

Hawai'i's sea turtles are afflicted with chronic and often lethal tumors caused by consuming non-native algae "superweeds" along coastlines where nutrient pollution is unchecked. The disease that causes these tumors is considered the leading cause of death in endangered green sea turtles.

North America:

A deadly virus is killing reptiles in Southwest Florida, and veterinarians have no way to stop it.

and this;

The Institute of Marine Mammal Studies is investigating the death of a Kemp's Ridley sea turtle that washed ashore in Gulfport. Meanwhile, another turtle found Monday, and thought to be dead, is undergoing treatment and may be saved.

Meanwhile, in Australia there are ongoing turtle disease problems similar to the Hawain issue.

Earlier in the year in Canada:

MISERY BAY—Twelve more turtles have been discovered dead at Misery Bay Provincial Park as the research into the mass turtle death at the park, which was discovered last year, continues.

You can find all these articles and a whole lot more in the IBIS archive. Log in, go to Articles, start your search.



Status: Past
Start date:
Last update: 2015-03-31

First Report

By: Andrew Fraser

From: The Australian February 14, 2012

Clean Seas announces that its kingfish stocks had been "...impacted over the summer by unusually bad weather which in turn has resulted in health implications and a higher than anticipated rate of mortalities"

" outbreak of enteritis had been diagnosed among the kingfish and this had spread through most of the 600,000 fish the company is breeding in floating platforms near Arno Bay in the gulf. Enteritis is an infection of the intestines whose effects include diarrhoea.

by Andrew Fraser, The Australian

 November 15, 2012

"Investigations have revealed that the taurine content in feed historically supplied by these two suppliers has been insufficient and that the taurine deficiency in our kingfish diet has been the principal cause of suppressed growth and much higher-than-budgeted mortalities," the company said in an ASX filing.Follow the links to read the latest news reports.

Status: Emerging
Start date:
Last update: 2015-01-07

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Sunday the cassava brown streak disease (CBD) has affected over 50 per cent of the crop production in the country.

The UN agency said the cassava mosaic virus is also spreading fast with several African countries already affected.

According to Edwin Adenya, Consultant with FAO Agriculture and Field Schools, the brown streak disease had affected 50 percent of cassava produce in the country.

He said that the disease first broke out in Asia and its virus had spread to various regions of Africa, including East Africa, Central and the Horn of Africa.

"West African countries have managed to contain the disease which has ravished hundreds of acres in other parts of the continent," Adenya said in Naivasha during the start of a study on the spin-off effects of the Farmer Field Schools in Kenya for the last ten years.

He was optimistic that the country would address this, noting that the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KARLO) had embarked on a research over the disease.

"It may take time to get certified cassava seeds as it takes KARLO between two and six years to research on the cassava seeds," he said.

Adenya praised farmers from Western Kenya for practicing good farming under the Farmer Field Schools which had seen the area avoid the cassava disease.

On their part, farmers from Matangwe Farmera Field School in Bondo identified lack of enough rain and market as the biggest challenges facing cassava farmers.

One of the farmers Austin Kasure said that the area heavily relied on cassava as it was the only crop that could persevere the harsh weather conditions.

"Cassava is our staple food, and under the farmers field school concept, we have managed to address the issue of food security in the area," he said.

Another farmer, Jackline Akinyi, called on the government to assist them access market, adding that they were selling the produce at throwaway prices.

Akinyi called for value addition training among farmers involved in cassava farming as one way of increasing their earning.

"This area has poor rainfall pattern which affects production, but through improved farming we have managed to address the issue of food security," said the farmer.


Status: Ongoing
Start date:
Last update: 2014-05-16



Mexico - shrimp farming is facing a mysterious disease problem

UPDATE 17/08/13: Laboratory results reported as follows

"The preliminary findings of the official laboratories in shrimp analyzed show a wide variety of genres such as Vibrio and Aeromonas bacteria that affect the body called the hepatopancreas, which were also identified high concentrations of heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and arsenic and a high viral load for Hypodermic disease and Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis, IHHNV, "the statement added.

See article link titled Shrimp disease MEXICO


Excerpt from article:

A state official reported that there were 520 farms in the state with 35,000 hectares of ponds.  On farms, mortalities varied from 15 to 85 percent.

The states of Sonora and Nayarit face similar problems.

Ten different laboratories are attempting to determine what is causing the mortalities, including Dr. Donald Lightner’s laboratory at the University of Arizona in the United States.

Source: Boletín CNA (Ecuador’s Cámara Nacional de Acuacultura).  Editor, Jorge Tejada ( Daños en Cultivo de Camarón Dejará Pérdidas Millonarias  [Google Translate].  June 21, 2013.



Mexico has EMS

See link: Mexico has EMS/AHPNS [Bob Rosenberry] [103629]


UPDATE 20 March 2014

Neil Gervais in an interview with Shrimp News International says;

How EMS got into Mexico is not known and probably will never be known.  Why they’re susceptible is because of the way they were selected.  Now hatcheries in Mexico are looking for animals that are disease tolerant in non-biosecure environments.  I don’t think EMS will be as devastating when—and I do mean “when”, not “if”— it crosses the borders into Central and South America.  I believe this because no country south of Mexico is using animals that were exclusively SPF and selected for growth only.

See link for the full interview.

Status: Emerging
Start date:
Last update: 2014-05-14

To quote Huffington's post, Periplaneta japonica has special powers: it can withstand the New York winter, outdoors in the freezing cold.

Whilst the subject is still debated, there are some who say that, as any other invasive species, this cockroach should be monitored.

Will competition with other American cockroaches eliminate the new comer? Or will it multiply and thrive as it did in Asia, where this is a common pest?

Only time will tell... and perhaps the horizon scanning function of IBIS will help come up with an answer faster.

Status: Potential
Start date:
Last update: 2014-04-16


A closeup of Stem rust, also known as Black rust, shows the Puccinia graminis fungus that may become a growing problem on cereal crops including durum wheat. Image: Yue Jin/Wikipedia

(WNN/IRIN) Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA: Outbreaks of a deadly fungal disease in wheat crops in Germany and Ethiopia in 2013 have had the scientific community buzzing over the threat posed to global food security.

Wheat stem rust, also known as wheat black rust, is often referred to as the “polio of agriculture”: The rapidly mutating fungal disease can travel thousands of kilometers and wipe out crops.

Wheat farmers and scientists at a recent summit hosted by the Mexico-based International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT ) have been examining outbreaks of different strains of wheat stem rust in the two countries to identify any similarities.

In Germany “the occurrence of stem rust was favored by a period of unusually high temperatures… and an unusually late development of the wheat crop due to cold spring and early summer temperatures,” explained Kerstin Flath, senior scientist at Germany’s Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants at the Julius Kuehn-Institut. The outbreak occurred in June in central Germany, a mainly wheat producing area, and was the first in the country in several decades.

Scientists noted that the rust came so late that even the fungicides sprayed earlier to prevent leaf rust epidemics proved ineffective.

Then in November 2013 the disease struck a popular variety of wheat in Ethiopia called digalu, used to make bread, said Bekele Abeyo, a senior scientist and wheat breeder at CIMMYT.

What was particularly disconcerting for the scientists was that digalu had been bred with inherent resistance to certain strains of stem rust and another wheat disease called “yellow rust” or “stripe”.

The fact that the fungus has been rapidly mutating has prompted scientists to study the two cases with a view to helping with the preparation of new wheat varieties.

David Hodson, a senior scientist with the Global Cereal Rust Monitoring Program at CIMMYT, says the analysis presented on the German outbreak showed “there were some clear specific differences between the races present in Germany compared to Ethiopia, although the races were similar and fitted into the same race group.”

In Ethiopia, he said, the season had also been favorable for rusts, with above-average and well distributed rainfall – conditions similar to those in 2010 when wheat crops there were affected by yellow rust.

However, said Hodson, “the key factor was the presence of a suitable host and the appearance of a race that was able to attack this host.”

Flath said the big question on the German outbreak was whether it “was a unique situation or if it will repeat this year” – particularly because they had had a rather mild winter, so the spores might have survived.

She reckons a changing climate will “definitely” favour this thermophilic fungus. In the last two years two new aggressive variants of the yellow rust-causing fungus have made huge inroads in central and northern Europe.

- See more at:



Status: Ongoing
Start date:
Last update: 2014-02-17

Viral nervous necrosis is resulting in severe economic impacts on the farmed marine finfish sector across South East Asia. It seems as marine finfish aquaculture increases throughout the Asia/Pacific so do problems associated with VNN. You could safely say that nearly everyone in the Asia/Pacific marine finfish aquaculture industry has encountered problems associated with a nasty nodavirus. The recent problems on a grouper farm in the Philippines (de la Pena /et al/. Bulletin of the EAFP 2011, 31, 129-138) is a timely example of how VNN manifests to impact heavily on an emerging and potentially lucrative industry. In this case the source was the farms' stockfeed influents, trash fish. VNN or no VNN, the practice of feeding aquatic animals of unknown health status to other aquatic animals seems to be at the root of this and many similar health problems in aquaculture.

Forecast: VNN will most likely be the biggest bottleneck to grouper production in the S.E. Asian region until better health management can be implemented across this aquaculture sector.