Thursday, February 28, 2013

Myanmar's fish farms suffer amid early heat wave

Myat Nyein Aye in the Myanmar Times:   Unseasonable early heat and freshwater parasites that thrive in hotter water temperatures are devastating fish farms throughout Myanmar, an official from the Myanmar Fish Farmer Association said. “Starting on February 9, the temperature shot up unexpectedly, so many farmers’ fish pools dried up and the fish died as a result of lack of oxygen. Also, deadly parasites tend to grow in fish farms when the temperature increases,” U Soe Tint, the Association’s vice chairman, told The Myanmar Times on February 21.

While fish farmers normally wait to harvest their fish until monsoon season from June until October, they are harvesting their fish now in fear that they will die from the heat or parasites.

The most common parasite affecting fish farms is dactylogyrus, a flatworm known to inhabit fish gills, the Association said. The parasite is temperature dependent: Hotter water temperatures increase the parasite’s life cycle from only a few days to five or six months. Anti-parasitic medicine can be bought from China or Thailand and costs about K250,000 (about US$290).

“Fish farmers who did not use medicine for parasites face higher losses. I used the medicine after suffering about K300,000 (about US$350) in losses when my fish died,” U Soe Tint said, who has a fish farm in Yangon Region’s Twantay township...

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