SINGAPORE: A marine bacteria, vibrio, has been detected in fish samples taken from Singapore's coastal fish farms.
While vibrio is found naturally in tropical marine environments, humans can get infected by consuming undercooked seafood or exposing an open wound to sea water. Diarrhoea, vomiting and fever are some symptoms of the infection.
Experts say warm weather and rising sea surface temperatures have led to the rapid growth of marine micro-organisms, which release toxins that kill the fish. A large number of fish in 44 farms have died due to the infection, causing frustration among fish farmers.
Singapore Marine Aquaculture Cooperative Chairman Phillip Lim said two farms in Lim Chu Kang lost about 60 tonnes of fish to vibrio, and his own farm has also been affected. "I started with 8,000 fish. I'm only left with 200 to 300-plus fish," he said. The infection was discovered when they sent samples to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore for examination.
"For us, as farmers, we don't have the equipment, so we need more professional help on that, to advise us what to do about all this. Because vibrio can also infect humans, so it is quite dangerous." Mr Lim said stress might have killed the fish as well.
While dead fish are disposed of, those still alive are sold at local markets. The public is urged to ensure the fish is fully cooked, before consuming them.
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