Virus hitting Louisiana crawfish ponds
NEW ORLEANS - Louisiana crawfish producers: beware.
State aquaculture specialists say a deadly virus is threatening the industry.
Mark Shirley of the LSU Agriculture Center says the virus - known as white spot syndrome - primarily affects shrimp and was first discovered in Thailand and other parts of southeast Asia. He says it somehow made its way to crawfish ponds in South Louisiana and is having a significant impact.
Crawfish farmer Ian Garbarino says he was having a great harvest until his catch suddenly dropped 70 percent in mid-March. Then he says he noticed dead crawfish floating in the water. LSU later confirmed the virus had hit his ponds.
Shirley says it's not a health issue for consumers because the virus only affects crustaceans. But he says producers should be concerned.