Pfiesteria Concerns in Fish Challenged

A new round of research again challenges the findings of a North Carolina State researcher who linked a parasitic algae to dozens of fish kills off the East Coast in the 1990s. Scientists at a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lab in Beaufort say a common species of water mold appears to be the main cause of skin ulcers and lesions on fish in North Carolina's sounds. JoAnn Burkholder of N-C State blamed the ailments on a toxic form of the pfiesteria algae. Other scientists say they've been unable to verify her findings. The NOAA scientists say their work is different because they studied fish in the environment and NOT a lab, as Burkholder did. All the scientists agree that there are probably multiple causes for the fish lesions.