Crayfish disease diagnostics

Towards a Nordic standard

image of Crayfish disease diagnostics

Crayfish utilization is a long-standing Scandinavian tradition, which unfortunately has suffered a major drawback with the introduction of crayfish plague disease about a hundred years ago. In spite of intensive research many problems in management and diagnosis of this disease are not yet solved. To evaluate ongoing research and diagnostic methodology in different countries, representatives of diagnostic laboratories involved in crayfish disease diagnostics were invited to a workshop in Kuopio to discuss the problems with crayfish diseases. The workshop was held at the Kuopio unit of the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira. Participants from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia and Latvia were present, as well as the OIE expert from the reference laboratory for crayfish plague. In the programme of the first day the state of crayfish stocks, crayfish diseases and diagnostic methods used in each country were presented and discussed. During the second day diagnostic methods were discussed in detail, as well as research projects concerning crayfish diseases. The workshop has been made possible by way of a grant from the Nordic Council of Ministers.



Crayfish research at University of Kuopio

Crayfish Team includes University of Kuopio (UKU), Department of Biosciences staff and students (4 academic staff + 4 under and postgraduate students) and Crayfish Innovation Centre (CIC) staff (2 craybiologists). With this small network collaboration we are covering research & development, application of results and education of both academic students and laypersons. We are focusing on two main topics: the genetic differences among noble crayfish stocks and crayfish plague strains in Finland and also neighbouring countries. There are currently running two PhD-projects and several undergraduate projects studying different aspects of these two topics. We are participating in a joint project on crayfish plague (Aphanomyces astaci) diagnostics and understanding of differences among crayfish plague strains in wild populations. We also have close connections to crayfish farming industry and to persons involved in wild stock management and exploitation. Key targets of current research & development: We are also focusing on implementation of the results to practical, hands-on situations. Crayfish Innovation Centre is involved in several local crayfisheries projects were local fishermen are educated on how to best manage wild and farmed crayfish stocks, with special emphasis on the prevention of the spread of diseases and sustainable exploitation of wild stocks. Current UKU crayfish team networking: Crayfish Innovation Centre is currently active partner in UKU PhD training and research & development and CIC acts as a platform for contacts to crayfish farming and wild stock management for UKU. This consortium has a wide network covering Scandinavia (Freshwater laboratory in Drottningholm, Uppsala University and National Veterinary Institute in Oslo), Estonia (Tarto University) and also European crayfish institutions (CRAYNET and personal contacts) and wider including Australia, via personal contacts and IAA.


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