Chile imports from Spain 100s of metric tons of frozen sardine Sardina pilchardus fished in European oceans, which, with several other clupeids, are presumed susceptible to infection with viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV). The frozen sardines are directly introduced into the sea as bait to catch southern hake Merluccius australis in the same areas where wild and pen-raised salmonids are present. A simulation model was therefore developed to evaluate the potential risk of infection of wild Chilean southern hake with VHSV from imported bait. The model indicated that VHSV-susceptible fish species present in Chilean waters, like southern hake, are not at immediate risk of infection. However, sensitivity analyses showed that infectious doses at lower concentrations of VHSV combined with higher VHSV-prevalence import scenarios could likely result in VHSV infections of a moderate number of indigenous southern hake (≥54 fish yr-1).
- Bait fish
- Risk assessment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science