Customs seize illegal carp

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CEFAS inspectors have seized an illegal import of carp at Kent docks and reported a man to the authorities.

Inspectors from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) stopped a man at Dover who was attempting to illegally import 64 large carp without health certification.

HM Customs officers stopped the man last week with the aid of the State Veterinary Service (SVS) and found 64 carp weighing up to 43 lbs.

The fish originated from France but the man had no health documentation for them and had not notified the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) of his intention to import the fish, which is illegal.

The carp were humanely destroyed and samples are currently being examined at the CEFAS laboratory in Weymouth, Dorset.

Stephen Maidment, enforcement officer with the Fish Health Inspectorate said: "Many responsible angling organisations have worked very hard to prevent the spread of fish disease. It takes only one such consignment of diseased fish to bring widespread mortalities at fisheries across the country."

Fisheries in the UK have been hard hit by the carp disease Koi Herpes Virus this year, with 23 officially reported cases and many more unreported cases.

Illegal fish movements are believed by many to have played a part in the rapid spread of the disease this year.