An animated musical video featuring an all fish rock group called, Blue Walleye and the Fish Band, has been launched on You Tube. The colorful, personable fish are singing to raise awareness of the deadly fish disease viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS). In their song, “Save Our Waters,” the fish tell recreational boaters and anglers, particularly in the Great Lakes region how they can prevent the spread of the disease.
Led by Blue Walleye on guitar, with Ms. Pretty Perch also on guitar, Rock Bass on bass guitar, “Freshwater” Drum Fish on drums and Gizzard “Shad” on keyboard, the band offers a catchy tune with meaningful lyrics. The lyrics remind water lovers of the simple steps they should take to keep from contaminating lakes and spreading VHS.
The song is particularly meaningful because all the band members are fish that are very susceptible to the disease. The band asks fishermen and boaters to take the time to clean their equipment and not to transfer bait from one body of water to another, among other things. “There’s a lot on the line when you fish,” they croon.
The video is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS) as part of its Focus On Fish Health public awareness campaign. The campaign is working to help slow the spread of VHS, a highly contagious and serious disease of fresh and saltwater fish that can cause large fish die-offs if not contained.
“The disease is not a threat to human health. However, it can impact the ecological balance of wild fish populations and negatively impact the enjoyment of recreational fishing and boating,” says USDA aquaculture veterinarian Dr. Janet Whaley.
APHIS programs work collaboratively to protect both plant and animal aquaculture, especially in the areas of disease, pest prevention, and wildlife damage management.
Please visit www.FocusOnFishHealth.org to learn more about VHS, and how you can help stop its spread, and to participate in the Focus on Fish Health photo contest. Individuals and organizations can download materials from the site as well as request informational palm cards to distribute.