Welcome to a new discussion topic
Dear forum members,
Welcome to a new topic in MedAID online health forum, Biosecurity in Mediterranean marine aquaculture. We distributed an invitation far beyond the Mediterranean basin and I am quite sure that many of our new members from all parts of the globe will contribute to the discussion. We'll have a great opportunity to hear how aquaculture experts are implementing the biosecurity measures in different aquaculture facilities. Primarily, I am inviting all farmers to ask any question they want. It will be helpful for our moderators, Nadia Cherif and Alain Le Breton but also all experts are very welcome to share their knowledge, experience, tips and tricks with participant.
Hereby I am opening the topic and inviting all of you to ask, comment, share the knowledge, experience, doubts.
Wish us all a very successful and fruitful discussion
Biosecurity has been seen for years as a concept that can help protecting business in livestock animal production and specially in Aquaculture; but something which consumes time, costs some investments and which is often consider finally as a constraint. But in animal production, people have invested in it and developped after all these years a knowhow which could have been usefull during this recent corona virus crisis. The world realises today how important is biosecurity and how usefull it is in saving life.
I am sure we will have an fruitfull and exiting forum on this hot spot topic. Let's start the discussion....
It’s a pleasure to welcome all of you.
I think we are in the best moment and circumstances to talk about biosecurity and I hope that we’ll have an interesting discussion so that experts continue to inform biosecurity stakeholders and foster the collaborative effort so vital in this important area. I’m sure that everybody has a lot of experience to share.
Let’s start by saying that risks must be addressed at the same time as the development to avoid vulnerable pests and diseases that enter via unregulated pathways and via movement of production inputs, equipment and people. And that too often, there is a long-time lapse from the time that an emergent disease is observed in the field to the time when the disease is reported, leading significant production and revenue losses.
I have a first question: compared to in-land farms, how to prevent stress factors in an open sea? What innovative measures to take especially when the virus (or pathogen) is already present in the environment (wild fish, other organisms) just waiting for the best conditions?
Many thanks for the invite. Likewise, I too, am sure that there will be fruitful exchanges. From the Malaysian experience, the CA have over the years developed and incorporated biosecurity principles as in the mini-review by Nadia and Alan. In each, there various technical and practical issues that have emerged. However, to start from an overview, one of the major issues in biosecurity implementation (at least in MY) is the unequal biosecurity adoption between exporting and non-exporting aquaculture production businesses (APBs); and between large and small scale APBs. The main consequences of these unequal implementations are failure of disease controls and meeting EU export requirements. Therefore, biosecurity were then gradually set as requirements for exports to other countries and afterwards into regulation. I am not sure of the actual impact of this yet, but for regions that have ~80% of small-scale APBs, mandatory expenditures on biosecurity could heavily stunt their growth. This, in turn, affects the biosecurity itself.
On the other hand, an outbreak would do the same. Compartmentalization is an option, however, it relies on a consensus level of biosecurity implementation between APBs. Thus, how to drive APBs to adopt biosecurity other than anticipating an outbreak? Well, we are concurrently using the market-demand angle to influence APBs for step by step adoption. Overall, biosecurity implementation will take some time and we have to persevere in our efforts .
A starter for the forum and looking forward to more exchanges. Cheers.
Sorry for posting over your post... 😓. It did not appear in time of writing mine.
Not too sure on the level of innovation here, but we usually recommend typical reduced stockings in peak months (e.g. Strep during hot months) and allocation of physical devices to remove the early life stage of leeches. In China, due to persistence of WSSV and etc., they are co-culturing marine shrimps with Tilapia in ponds to reduce transmission risks.
Many thanks Gerald. I’m glad to see you the first joining the forum and run up the conversation. I’m sure that Asian colleagues will have a lot of interesting inputs.
Related to biosecurity measures, what kind of check (diagnostic test) do you perform for brood stock introduction to avoid the entrance of the major important pathogen in the country/area such as VNN?
I totally agree with you on these points, Tunisia for example imports 80% of its juveniles and fish feed! As Alain said biosecurity is a "costy" investment which may be heavy for some APB but experience shows that biosecurity is a must. Personally, I’m so happy to see how Tunisian farmers are taking in consideration many aspects which will help them reducing the risk of disease emergence. But still a lot has to be done and building the capacity of the working staff will be the key to the success.
This is perhaps not the latest information. Well, we have a priority of diseases. For imported fish, there is a great reliance on health certifications from the exporting CAs. Once imported, the fish are subjected to a post-import quarantine e.g. KHV for 21 days in which at least two clinical signs inspections are carried out before released. There are occasional samples taken and tested. Most of our tests are molecular-based as per OIE. Once in the country, similar principles are carried out for movements between farms. This is the same in the case of VNN except with a 7-day quarantine period. I hope I answered it correctly. Sometimes there are too many diseases monitored for an accurate description.
Many thanks for sharing information with us. I am wondering how these quarantines are organise? Is it compulsory for farm to have a quarantine ponds in case of carp farming? How is organised marine farming? Do they have also quarantine? Official or some farms are offering service of quarantine? Who is paying for maintenance of quarantine? Who is controlling the fish while quarantined and how is sampling organised? how many testing they should perform and who is paying analysis?
Many questions, sorry.
It's a pleasure to share. For imports, there are certified premises in which specific quarantine areas must be present. For carp farms or marine farms, it's the same for most of them. However, the quarantine areas are not prepared by us but borne by the registered premises themselves. We do not have the resources to accommodate the large traffic of fish movement. There are instances where third-party premises providing quarantine services to farms.
Given this situation, we instruct appointed quarantine workers to conduct daily physical checks and record them. Our part will be verifying the records on site with physical and documentation checks. As a result, we usually spend a full day (9 to 9 generally) doing this for few farms.
For the samplings, it is random and occasional, (I have to verify this more). However, since Koi carps are ornamental fish, the burden of proof is mostly on health attestation by the exporting CAs because our testings for KHV molecular-based and require organ samples. If samplings are done, we usually opt for 2% prevalence samplings. Whether this is good or bad, we bear all the cost of samplings and testings.
Once again, I enjoy the exchanges. It's a good platform to discuss whether we have been doing it right or less right all this time.
It is great to hear how Malaysian aquaculture is trying to organise biosecurity measures in aquaculture, Another question for Gerald. Could you please tell us do you have a National biosecurity plan? Who prepared it?
Also, I'd like to hear how is importation organised in Tunisia? Maybe some of the experts from industry could inform us with Nadia's help? Many thanks in advance. It would be great to hear particularity on the national plan among Mediterranean countries and also on the farm/company level? I am really curious to see what are similarities and what are differences in the same area and same sector?
Thank you for the question Dr Snjezana. We had a technical cooperation project with FAO in 2016 in which we developed a national fish health strategy for Malaysia. The document is already in place and contains 15 programs that aim to develop certain areas of fish health. Experts, regulators and the industry were involved in the process of identifying and prioritising the areas and activities. Having such document is a good progress for national biosecurity in aquaculture especially in organising resources and long-term planning.
Having said that, it would be really interesting to hear from other regions too on this area!
Thanks for asking Snjezana, I will wait for Tunisian partners to describe better the situations here, I hope that we will have our freinds from the industry. Meanwhile, I have another curious question to compare differences within the countries:
At a national level, for progress to be made, management actions may also require addressing in addition to OIE-listed diseases that are relevant to international trade, National pathogen lists (NPLs) for health certification and disease surveillance. What do you think about this? What specific diseases are mentioned within health certificates? Based on internationally accepted methods, what are criteria for listing/delisting of diseases?I think that farmers are interested by this aspect as they are in center of the equation as they bear the consequences of disease outbreaks, OIE listed diseases may not be the number one causes of mortality in many areas such as North Africa.
I am happy to join the discussion and I thank Dr Zrncic for the invitation through World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association listserv. I am Prof. Dr Dusan Palic, Chair of the Fish Diseases and Fisheries Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. I am also the Executive Director of International Aquatic Veterinary Biosecurity Consortium (IAVBC), and have worked in the field of aquacutlure biosecurity for over 15 years.
Some of you may be aware that aquatic animal veterinary biosecurity has been an area long neglected, and has only got more traction in late 1990' and early 2000'. However we went a long way since, and there is quite a bit of information out there, of variable usefulness to either a producer, a veterinarian, or the government. A very important topic that has been only addressed by few so far is the streamlining of the biosecurity steps in an effort to achieve practical and economical tools for infectious diseases prevention and control in any "epidemiological unit". This concept was embraced by OIE as standard setting body, and used in the approach spearheaded by International Aquatic Veterinary Biosecurity Consortium, of which some members are also partners in this project (NVI, greetings to Edgar and Saraya). Togehter with other IAVBC members, we coordinated a number of practical workshops in collaboration with OIE and FAO that refined the IAVBC approach to biosecurity, and which elements are in one form or another used globally to prevent and control aquatic animal diseases. More information can be found in couple recent book chapters (Palic and Scarfe, 2018, Scarfe and Palic, 2020), and published special edition on biosecurity by Journal of Appplied Aquaculture (Palic et al 2015).
I look forward to further discussion. It is a commendable effort of the forum coordinators to keep the discussion on track!
And, please keep your personal biosecurity at hightened level, as the COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet.
Dear prof. Palić, it is really a chance that you joined our discussion. Actually, we have much more readers than contributors and I am sure that all of us will increase our knowledge and acquire new experiences in the field of biosecurity. I am kindly inviting our discussion moderators and other members of the forum to use the opportunity and ask questions?