Navigation Links
New ballast treatment could protect Great Lakes fish
Date:6/4/2008

A Michigan Technological University professor has developed a new water treatment that could help keep a deadly fish disease out of Lake Superior.

David Hand, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Michigan Tech, has devised a simple way to treat ballast water in vessels ranging from pleasure craft to ore boats. His method is designed to kill the virus that causes viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS), an often-fatal disease that has been attacking fish populations in the lower Great Lakes.

Hand's treatment is simple.

The ballast water is disinfected with sodium hypochloriteordinary household bleach. Then it is treated with ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, which neutralizes the bleach before the water is released into the lake.

With good initial results, Hand has tested his method on the Ranger III, a National Park Service vessel that shuttles visitors and staff between the mainland and Isle Royale National Park.

In the next few weeks, the Great Ships Initiative will conduct independent lab tests on his system at the University of WisconsinSuperior to help determine if it is safe, effective and inexpensive. Other partners in the effort are the National Park Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

"VHS has had a devastating effect on the musky population in Lake St. Clair and affects 23 species of game fish," said Phyllis Green, superintendent of Isle Royale National Park and the midwest coordinator of the park service's VHS Prevention Team. "It's important that we keep it out of the Lake Superior basin or at least slow its spread. Our aim is to find a low-tech, low-cost, interim solution that can stop the spread of VHS."

Since 2003, VHS it has caused massive dieoffs of fish species ranging from walleyes to salmon in all of the Great Lakes except Superior. Infected fish die from bleeding of their internal organs and often have open sores and bruised-looking, reddish tints on their skin.

As bad as it is, VHS is only part of the problem Hand wants to address. Exotic species have been hitchhiking throughout the Great Lakes via ballast tanks since 1959, when the St. Lawrence Seaway opened. And, as global trade increases, the problem will only get worse.

"Ships unload their ballast water from all over the world, and with it all kinds of exotic, invasive species, from viruses and bacteria to the zebra mussel," said Hand.

It's unfair to point the finger only at ocean-going ships, says Hand, a devoted angler and boat owner himself. All boaters should sterilize their bilge, ballast and livewell water.

"Not only do we need to prevent the salties from bringing in new viruses, we also need the lake carriers from the lower Great Lakes to treat their ballast, because the VHS virus is already in Lakes Huron, Michigan and Erie, and we don't want it in Superior," he said. "We really need something for all ships, as well as pleasure boats."

"We all need to protect the resource," he said.

If tests show that his system is as safe and effective as he believes, Hand hopes to map a strategy to implement its use throughout the Great Lakes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Donovan
jdonovan@mtu.edu
906-487-4521
Michigan Technological University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. U-M ballast-free ship could cut costs while blocking aquatic invaders
2. Quest for better treatment for effects of menopause
3. Sugar linkage could lead to better treatment for autoimmune diseases
4. Glypican-3 gene function in regulating body size helps inform novel cancer treatments
5. Early treatment of stomach infection may prevent cancer
6. New surgery improves head and neck cancer treatment
7. Hyperviscous fluids: Better treatment for severe blood loss
8. Pregnancy is possible after cancer treatment
9. Three Dimensional Visualization of Right Ventricle Provides Important Information for Treatment of Patients with Tetralogy of Fallot, According to a Study in The American Journal of Cardiology
10. Research identifies first method for testing, assessing drug treatments for Chagas disease
11. Pregnant patients lose out in breast cancer treatment; a new approach is needed
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/9/2016)... , March 9, 2016 This BCC ... future states of the RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) market ... such as instruments, tools and reagents, data analysis, and ... various segments of the RNA-Sequencing market such as RNA-Sequencing ... Identify the main factors affecting each segment and forecast ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... March 9, 2016  Crossmatch ® , a ... solutions, today announced the addition of smart features ... multi-factor authentication platform. New contextual and application-specific ... step-up security where it,s needed most — while ... DC . --> Washington, ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... -- FlexTech, a SEMI Strategic Association Partner, awarded five FLEXI ... Leadership in Education, and, in a category new this ... year of the FLEXI Awards and the winners join ... past years . Judging was done on a set ... by a panel of non-affiliated, independent, industry experts. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... has joined the company as an Expert Consultant. Mr. Clark was formerly ... and managing the development of small molecule monographs based on analytical methods. ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... ... Global Stem Cells Group and the University of Santiago Biotechnology Lab have ... for potential stem cell protocol management for 2016 – 2020. , In 2015, ... establish a working agenda and foster initiatives to promote stem cell research and development ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... Redwood City, CA (PRWEB) , ... April 26, ... ... company for healthcare, today announced that Ardy Arianpour has joined the company as ... 14 years of experience bringing innovative genomic technologies to market, was most recently ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... ... This unique "Fertility Happy Hour" event will be held at The Saguaro Hotel ... on female fertility and the reproductive technologies that are empowering a new generation of ... The Arizona Center, will give a short presentation and answer questions about age ...
Breaking Biology Technology: