More Than a Third of S.C. Shrimp Show Signs of Black Gill Disease, DNR Research Shows

When shrimp are infected with black gill, shrimpers can tell right away.

“It looks like someone takes a tiny little Sharpie and draws on the gill,” said Cindy Tarvin, co-owner of Tarvin Seafood Inc. “It’s very distinctive.”

Black gill in SC’s shrimp is caused by an apostome ciliate, a parasitic organism, that attaches itself to the crustaceans. The most visible symptom of this disease is darkened gills, possibly an immune response to the ciliate.

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