Aquaculture in Asia and the Pacific has grown very rapidly especially during the last two decades, but with intensification a large number of infectious diseases have emerged threatening the sustainability of aquaculture in the region. The occurrence of aquatic diseases has not only severely impacted production and livelihoods, but has also threatened food security.

Like any land-based form of raising livestock where large numbers of animals are placed in a very limited space, aquaculture can provide pathogens with conducive conditions for transmission. In addition with transport of live aquatic animals (such as broodstock, fry, fingerlings) between areas or countries there is a real and substantial risk of introducing new diseases to the receiving area, an event that is routinely observed to occur in the aquaculture industry, often causing massive economic damage. It is likely that intensive aquaculture conditions increase their prevalence within the farm and an increasing risk of transmission of pathogens and parasites between farms.

Biosecurity systems can comprise of measures such as the installation of disinfection baths, dedicated husbandry equipment for each pond, tank or cage, screening of broodstock and seed for diseases, presence of reservoir ponds, water filtration and treatment for incoming and outgoing water and proactive monitoring of the animals and rearing water during the culture. However, even if these measures are already being practiced there is the risk of disease outbreak such as in shrimp farms in Thailand that get affected by EMS.

Effective disease control is a challenge that must be met through the participation of technology providers, technology practitioners, industry associations, regional and national governments, and advisory organizations.

Biosecurity measures should be developed at the farm level and the cluster of farm level.

:: Download

Biosecurity Zoning Paper