Black gill disease shows up early in Georgia shrimp

Black Gill in shrimp“We’re seeing 40 percent of our white shrimp infected,” said Pat Geer, chief of fisheries at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. “We have never seen that before. Ever. So why, why are we seeing it that much earlier?” Geer put that question to a gathering of researchers, shrimpers and fisheries managers from Georgia and South Carolina on Wednesday at the University of Georgia Aquarium at Skidaway. Though unattractive, black gill shrimp are safe to eat. The discoloration is a result of a parasite that infects the gills. When it does, that tissue reacts by producing melanin, resulting in the tell-tale blackening. Researchers have determined the culprit is a ciliate, a single-celled organism with hair-like structures that propel it, but they haven’t been able to nail down which species it is. Read the story here 15:12