REPORT ON A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION INTO THE FISH DISEASE OUTBREAK, CHOBE RIVER, BOTSWANA

Since 2006, ulcers and focal areas of skin inflammation had been noticed in fish caught in the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers in the vicinity of the Chobe Game Reserve, Botswana, and the Caprivi Strip, Namibia, as well as on the Zambian side of the Zambezi in this area. The occurrence of the fish disease was confirmed by both the Botswana and Namibian Fisheries Authorities and bans on fishing were implemented in these two countries to prevent possible human health risks associated with consumption of diseased fish. A wide variety of fish species were recorded with lesions, including significant fisheries species. Amongst the larger species, Barbel (Catfish) and Tigerfish were recorded with large skin ulcerations. Attempts were made to collect samples of diseased fish and to isolate and identify the cause of the fish disease in both Botswana and Namibia. This process proved inconclusive, and Enviro-Fish Africa (Pty) Ltd (EFA), was contracted by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Botswana, to provide independent input into identification of the fish disease and possible causes for this disease. EFA subsequently made available a fish biologist and an aquatic veterinary specialist to undertake the investigations. 

Project Leader : Andrew, Dr Timothy

Project Members : EFA Staff

Category : Stock assessment and fisheries research
Client : Department of Inland Fisheries, Mozambique
Year : 2007