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First new waterborne aquaculture drug in 20 years approved

Twelve years of rigorous research by USGS scientists helped lead to the approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the first waterborne drug for fish diseases in more than 20 years.

The drug, 35% PEROX-AID, a product of EKA Chemical, Inc, in Marietta, Ga., was approved recently for use in three diseases of freshwater fish and their eggs that, left untreated, cause significant losses to the $1 billion (2006) U. S. aquaculture industry. State and federal natural resource agencies responsible for fish hatchery programs benefit from more effective and efficient production, including endangered and threatened species broodstock protection, and the public benefits from healthy fish released into the wild for recreation through restoration programs.

Private aquaculture will also benefit from approval of the new drug. According to industry figures, uncontrolled diseases cause around $100 million in losses in the catfish industry alone. Half of the reported disease cases were attributed to the three diseases this new drug can treat: bacterial gill disease and external columnaris disease of fish, and saprolegniasis on fish eggs.

Researchers at the USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) in La Crosse, Wisc., developed the data that resulted in the approval for the drug, with financial support through the Federal-State Aquaculture Drug Approval Partnership Project. Dr. Michael Jawson, UMESC center director, said that this approval is a critical step forward in helping control diseases in commercially and publicly raised fishes. He noted that the broad use approval is unique and significant for U.S. aquaculture in that it covers two fish life stages eggs and fish of a number of cultured freshwater fish species for three separate diseases. Fish commonly afflicted with these diseases include trout, salmon, steelhead, channel catfish, and tilapia.

Rosalie Schnick, National Coordinator for Aquaculture New Animal Dr
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Contact: Randy K Hines
rkhines@usgs.gov
608-783-6451 x398
United States Geological Survey
13-Mar-2007


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