Virus endangers abalone stocks

A virus that has devastated fisheries in the Australian state of Victoria has now been detected at the world's biggest wild abalone fishery, located off the country's southern island state of Tasmania, Reuters reported.

Abalone harvested in Tasmania account for 25% of the global annual harvest and gross US$418 million annually.

The ganglioneuritis virus, which affects the nervous system of the shellfish, has already been detected in two abalone. Tests are in progress to determine the extent of the threat.

Abalone is considered a rare delicacy in Asia and a symbol of wealth in Chinese society.

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