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GLIN==> NEW YORK DEC ADOPTS FINAL REGULATIONS TO HELP PREVENT SPREAD OF VHS



NEW YORK DEC ADOPTS FINAL REGULATIONS TO HELP PREVENT SPREAD OF VHS TO
ADDITIONAL NEW YORK WATERS

	New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
Commissioner Pete Grannis today announced the adoption of final
regulations to help prevent the spread of the Viral Hemorrhagic
Septicemia (VHS) to additional waters in the state. The final
regulations, which took effect on Wednesday, June 6, 2007, replace
previously enacted emergency regulations.  The new regulations reflect
changes incorporated as a result of public comments regarding  limits on
the possession, sale, transfer, taking and release of certain bait fish
and other live fish species to be placed in New York waters. VHS is a
fish pathogen and does not pose any threat to public health.
		
	VHS was first confirmed in New York waters in May 2006 in Lake
Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.  VHS has now also been confirmed in
several fish species in Great Lakes basin waters in New York State and
in Conesus Lake.  There is no known cure for VHS, and the virus is
nearly always fatal.  Because of the virus's ability to spread, and
potential impact to fisheries, recreation, and the economy, the World
Organization of Animal Health has categorized VHS as a transmissible
disease with the potential for profound socio-economic consequences.
VHS can be spread from water body to water body through a variety of
means.  One known pathway is through the movement of fish, including
bait fish between water bodies.  DEC, in cooperation with the College of
Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, has sampled fish from waters
across the state, and, except  for Conesus Lake, VHS has not been
confirmed in fish from any New York water outside the Great Lakes
basin.		

	Due to the potential adverse effects of VHS on fish populations
and the desire to prevent its spread to other states, the United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service (APHIS) issued a federal order on October 24, 2006, which was
amended on November 14, 2006 and May 4, 2007.  The final amended order
prohibits the importation of certain species of live fish from Ontario
and Quebec and restricts the interstate movement of  37 fish species
from the eight states bordering the Great Lakes. Other than catch and
release angling on international and interstate waterbodies, movement of
fish from these states is limited to certified VHS-free fish or fish
destined for a processing facility that meets specified standards.
Further information on the Federal Order can be found on the APHIS
website at www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/aqua/.

	The Amended Federal Order does not address the movement of fish
within New York State. In-state movement of fish for use as bait or for
stocking could spread VHS in New York and cause significant adverse
impacts to the state's fish resources. Therefore, in order to protect
New York's valuable fishery resources, DEC has adopted regulations
that:


●	Limit the personal use of bait fish to the same water body from
which they were collected. Overland transport of personally collected
bait fish in a motorized vehicle is prohibited. Also, bait fish can be
taken from a water body's tributaries upstream of the first impassable
barrier for use on such water body. (This rule does not pertain to bait
fish collected in the Marine District for use in the Marine District.) 

●	Limit the use of commercially collected and sold bait fish to
the same water body from which they were collected. Overland transport
of commercially collected bait fish in a motorized vehicle is
prohibited. (This rule does not pertain to bait fish collected in the
Marine District for use in the Marine District.)

●	Require that bait fish offered for sale by wholesalers, for use
on waterbodies other than the waterbody from which they were collected,
are certified as free of specified fish pathogens and are accompanied by
a fish health inspection report.  Bait fish sold at retail, for use on
waterbodies other than the waterbody from which they were collected,
must also be certified as free of specified fish pathogens.  In
addition, the retail seller must provide the purchaser with a dated
receipt of the transaction, which must be retained by the purchaser
while in possession of the bait fish.  Anglers will have 7 days from the
date of purchase to use the bait fish.  (This restriction does not apply
to bait fish collected in the Marine and Coastal District for use in the
Marine and Coastal District.) 

●	Clarify where marine bait fish may be transported. Bait fish
caught in the Marine District to be used in the Marine District or bait
fish imported into New York for use in the Marine District may be
transported overland only within the following counties: Queens, Kings,
Richmond, New York, Suffolk, Nassau, Bronx, Rockland and Westchester.

●	Allow dead bait fish packaged for commercial purposes, and
preserved by methods other than by freezing, only to be sold and used
wherever it is legal to use bait fish. Specific package labeling
requirements are included in the regulations. 

●	Require that all live fish, destined for release into the waters
of the state, or imported for release into the waters of the state, be
inspected by certified professionals and be certified to be free of
certain fish pathogens. The release of any live fish into the waters of
the state is prohibited unless the fish have been determined to be free
of the pathogens listed below, and documented by a fish health
inspection report issued within the previous 12 months. For all species
of freshwater fish, a fish health inspection report shall certify that
the fish are free of VHS and Spring Viremia of Carp Virus, as well as
certify the presence or absence of: Furunculosis, Enteric Red Mouth, and
Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis Virus (IPN). In addition, for salmon and
trout (Salmonidae), a fish health inspection report shall certify that
they are free of Whirling Disease and Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis
Virus (IHN), as well as certify the presence or absence of Bacterial
Kidney Disease. The fish health inspection reports must be on a standard
form supplied by the DEC, must be issued by an independent qualified
inspector, conform with specific testing methods and procedures, and be
filed with DEC.

●	Allow live fish, other than bait fish, caught from the non-New
York portion of an interstate or international water body to be
transported on the water and released into the New York portion of the
water body. This provision allows for catch and release tournaments to
occur on those bodies of water.
		
	In addition to the above, there are existing regulations that
continue to be in place that identify waters where anglers are allowed
to use bait fish and waters where the commercial collection of bait fish
is permitted.

	"Following these regulations will help maintain the quality of
New York’s world class fisheries," stated Commissioner Grannis.

	For more information on VHS, visit
http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/25328.html.	

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