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2022 Blotchy Bass Syndrome Biosurveillance Project

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Detailed Description

Blotchy bass syndrome (BBS) is the presence of hyperpigmentation (melanosis) on the external surface of black basses. This condition has received increased attention from anglers and resource managers in recent years and is a popular topic of discussion and reporting on angling websites and blogging platforms. Advances in discovery and diagnostic capabilities using “next generation sequencing”, along with de novo assembly approaches, have enhanced surveillance efforts, and lead to the discovery that this condition is associated with multiple viruses of the family Adomaviridae. A coordinated biosurveillance network is necessary to understand the geographical extent, seasonality, and biological threat of this viral disease to black basses. Establishing image-based, crowd-sourced biosurveillance increases geographical and temporal sampling coverage beyond realistic management agency resources. Efforts using existing frameworks of smartphone apps and virtual fishing tournaments can increase community engagement and buy-in. The use of virtual or simulated fishing tournaments using smartphone apps is only projected to increase and provides a novel opportunity for broadscale data collection. Ultimately, leveraging messaging, advertisement, or prizes through larger social media channels hosted by state agencies (e.g., Texas Parks and Wildlife) as well as national retail chains (e.g. Bass Pro Shops) are likely to increase effectiveness of future efforts




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