Primary tabs

Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Reports

Formal report series, containing results of research and monitoring carried out by Marine Scotland Science


UK Open Government Licence (OGL)

Other Access

The information on this page (the dataset metadata) is also available in these formats.


via the DKAN API

Epidemiology and Control of an Outbreak of Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia in Wrasse Around Shetland Commencing 2012

Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Vol 4 No 3

An outbreak of Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (VHS), as defined by European Community Council Directive 2006/88/EC, was detected during December 2012 in multiple species of wrasse (Labridae) stocked onto six sea-water sites around Shetland Mainland. The wrasse were originally captured from the wild off the west coast of the Scottish mainland and were being used as a biological control of sea-lice (Caligidae) on Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) farms. Inspection, diagnostic testing, contact tracing, epidemiological enquires and other relevant research were undertaken as part of an outbreak investigation, containment areas were established, and the removal of stocked wrasse was initiated. To date three of the six affected sites have been cleared with a substantial proportion (˜99%) of wrasse removed from the remaining sites. Species other than wrasse were also tested for VHS. Lumpsucker (Cyclopterus lumpus) and Atlantic salmon stocked on VHS positive sites tested VHS negative. Wild poor cod (Trisopterus minutus) from within the pens of a VHS positive site tested VHS positive. Free-ranging wild Norway pout (Trisopterus esmarkii), sprat (Sprattus sprattus), grey gurnard (Eutrigla gurnardus), herring (Clupea harengus), whiting (Merlangius merlangus) and plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) from a locality around Shetland tested VHS positive. A qualitative risk analysis suggests that the chance of this outbreak originating from the marine environment around Shetland is moderate and alternative possibilities are either low or negligible.

Hall, L M, Allan, C E T, Bain, N, Duguid, S J, Marcos-Lopez, M, Matejusova, I, McBeath, A J A, Munro, E S, Murray, A G, Raynard, R, Salama, N K G, Smith, R J, Wallace, I S. 2013. Report on an outbreak of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia in multiple stocked species of wrasse on six sea-water sites around Shetland Mainland commencing December 2012. Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Vol 4 No 3. Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 45pp. DOI: 10.7489/1513-1
Release Date
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
Temporal Coverage
2012-12-13 to 2013-10-15
UK Open Government Licence (OGL)
Malcolm Hall
Data Dictionary

Information regarding a suspected outbreak of VHS was received by Marine Scotland (MS) which acts on behalf of the Scottish Ministers as the competent authority for fish, shellfish and crustacean diseases on the 13 December 2012. The suspicions were based on increased mortalities and a commercially-sourced positive test result for wrasse held for a fish farming company.

Contact Name
Marine Scotland Science Enquiries
Contact Email
Public Access Level