A deadly virus for fish has prompted the USDA to ban interstate shipments of live fish among the Great Lakes states.
The virus is harmless to humans. But Donna Gilson with the state Department of Agriculture says it can be devastating to fish farms and fisheries. The ban affects the state's 300 fish farmers, bait shops and government agencies such as DNR that swap fish for sporting purposes.
Fish farmers are telling the Ag department they could lose tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars by the end of this year alone if something isn't done.
But Friday night fish fries are not in jeopardy. Gilson says the ban only involves live fish. Consumers can still get fish in restaurants and stores.
Gilson says there's a meeting of Ag officials and fish industry representatives in Washington DC Tuesday where Wisconsin will try to argue its way out of the ban because the state already does extensive VHS testing on fish going in or out of the state.
The ban is likely to stay if place until the USDA can get a handle on the VHS virus.