Louisiana’s crawfish industry produces more than 300-million dollars a year, but there’s a dark cloud hovering over producers. LSU AgCenter aquaculture specialist Greg Lutz says the white spot virus is a threat to this growing industry.
"It's been there for quite some time, but over the last couple of seasons it's really seems to be spreading and hurting some individual farms," said Lutz.
Lutz says all it takes is for one crawfish to get white spot syndrome and all of the mudbugs in a pond can get sick. He says for some producers it’s been a real issue.
"It's the large crawfish that succumbs to this virus, the young crawfish are scooting around the pond just fine, but it's the big ones that die. Of course it's the big ones that are producers need to harvest to turn a profit."
Lutz says white spot disease is harmless for humans. He says it’s been issue worldwide in the shrimp industry and the virus was first detected in Louisiana in 2007. He says they need more research dollars in order to examine what’s causing white spot disease.
"It's really of concern to some of us industry observers and we're hoping to find a way to do some work on it," said Lutz.