Aquaculture Associations Promote Standards for Farmed Aquatic Animal Health

Twenty-one aquaculture associations (including The Aquaponics Association) sent a letter to U.S. House and Senate Appropriators requesting a budget increase for the Veterinary Services Aquaculture Program of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

The letter describes the need for action:

“In recent years, related to global trade, we have experienced increasing incidents of foreign animal pathogens impacting our farm-raised fish and shellfish. Examples include infectious salmon anemia, spring viremia of carp, tilapia lake virus, and ostreid herpesvirus. ”

Please see here a final copy of the letter and an issue brief on the subject, courtesy of The National Aquaculture Association (NAA):

APHIS Aquaculture Budget Increase Request Letter, April 2021

Issue Brief: National Aquaculture Health Plan and Standards

The additional funding for APHIS would be used to “develop standards that are transparent and consistent by which farmed aquatic animal health is determined and verified for various end uses.” The plan “creates an infrastructure to secure aquatic livestock health and presents a risk-based approach for health management for domestic aquaculture.”

The plan establishes consistent and clear guidance for these national elements –

:black_small_square: Pathogen reporting

:black_small_square: Laboratory accreditation for quality management

:black_small_square: Testing standardization for the purposes of surveillance and export testing

:black_small_square: National surveillance

:black_small_square: National Biosecurity

:black_small_square: Response to aquaculture health threats

:black_small_square: Management of aquatic animal health data

:black_small_square: Education and training to support domestic aquaculture

The letter was developed by the NAA. The Aquaponics Association was one of twenty other organizations to sign onto the letter.