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November 2006
Know your stock

There are many myths and pieces of miss-information in the angling world in relation to fish rearing, in addition the supply of ‘super’, ‘genetically modified’ and ‘vaccinated’ fish are also frequently discussed topics, and on this information sheet we would like to dispel some of the most common myths and provide further information for you to consider when purchasing fish.

Vaccinating fish against disease is not permitted in Britain, and any vaccinated fish that are currently available for sale in Britain are imported fish. Currently English law does not prevent these fish being imported from countries like Israel, and providing they are quarantined for six months they are then permitted to be sold or stocked into English waters. It may be of interest to note that the vaccine only has a life span of up to six months, approximately, (the quarantine period) and thereafter it is redundant at fighting off the threat of any disease.

If a fishery does suffer an outbreak of a disease such as KHV, re-stocking with non-vaccinated fish will pose no higher risk of further outbreaks or fish mortalities.

There is also a question of ‘life span’ from genetically modified fish. The most common symptoms once fish have undergone some types of ‘modification’ appear to be there longevity and the fact that they can additionally become sterile. For future management of a fishery it may not be helpful to have fish that cannot reproduce, and future stocking becomes an expensive and regular exercise.

The growth rates of fish are invariably dependant on their environment and the food that is available to them. These two factors are the most important issues when considering stocking. The ‘parentage’ or ‘strain’ of fish stocked into a water is almost irrelevant if the environment the fish inhabits is not suitable for the fish to achieve its maximum potential. The issue of ‘parentage’ is considerably more relevant, when in the case of carp, attempting to stock with say fully scaled mirror carp or similar.

We are frequently asked about imported fish and in our opinion we feel there is a substantially greater risk of infection to British waters than from our own home grown stock. Fish can be marketed and sold as British fish once they have been stored in the country for 26 weeks. When purchasing valuable stock fish, from 2 inches to 40lb you may wish to confirm exactly what fish you are introducing to your lake.   


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