The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has banned the importation of all tilapia species and ornamental fishes with effect from 1 July 2018, as an immediate measure to help prevent and control the Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV).

The Tilapia Lake Virus is a newly emerging virus that is associated with significant mortalities in farmed tilapia with cases reported across Africa, Asia and South America.

It’s the first-ever major disease epidemic reported in tilapia aquaculture, and represents a huge risk to the 7.5 billion dollars global tilapia industry.

Since the first discovery of the virus in Israel in 2014, cases have been reported in Columbia, Ecuador, Egypt and Thailand with the number of reported cases expected to rise.

Below is the full press release:

PRESS RELEASE ON TILAPIA LAKE VIRUS (TiLV)

BAN ON TILAPIA AND ORNAMENTAL IMPORTS

Tilapia Lake Virus is a newly emerging virus that is associated with significant mortalities in farmed tilapia. The attention of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) has been drawn to the fact that, cases have been reported across Africa, Asia and South America that the virus represents a huge risk to the global tilapia industry.

This means all countries should be vigilant and act quickly to investigate cases of mortalities in farms.

In line with this, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development is by this release placing a BAN on the import of all ornamental fishes and tilapia species (live and dead) including gametes-eggs and milt into the country effect from 1st July to 31st December 2018.

The ban is one of the immediate actions being taken by the Ministry to help prevent and control the virus since its treatment is not known.

The Ministry will follow up with capacity building and awareness creation programmes at different levels to farmers, hatchery operators, extension officers, and consumers and the general public to support the implementation of simple farm-level biosecurity programmes.

Consumers and stakeholders are therefore advised to report any issues arising from or related to this issue to the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development. The Ministry will also update the public on any new developments on this in due time.