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Aquaculture sessions

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Wednesday 8 April

This presentation will identify day-1 and board specialised knowledge, skills and experience (KSEs) needed, where to obtain these KSEs and how to get recognized for competence.

Knowledge, experience, financial and practical challenges befall those running businesses. What does it take to start a fish practice? This presentation will cover some novel ways to utilise available tools, some pitfalls to avoid, and creative solutions.

The ornamental fish industry is growing quickly globally. Asia represents 51% of the export market for this industry and in Singapore alone it has a value market of $USD66 million. Despite the economic importance of this industry for Australasia, the aquatic veterinary system available to support the ornamental fish sector is scarce. In many cases, ornamental fish owners do not seek advice from veterinarians. While the reasons behind this are difficult to be elucidated completely, a few factors may contribute to it – the low perceived value of fish and limited knowledge about the availability of veterinary services for aquatic animals. Considering the growing importance of the ornamental fish industry, more education and data is needed about the services offered by veterinarians within the aquatic sector. We provide the first baseline dataset on the current status of aquatic veterinary services for ornamental fishes in the Australasian region based on the literature and questionnaire.

This presentation details the role of aquaculture in the global food production system and demonstrates that whilst a relatively new large-scale industry in the history of food production it has unique measures that cement its place in food production globally into the future. Some of the changes in efficiency and myths around resource use and production efficiencies globally are explored. The many facets of veterinary involvement in the aquaculture industry will be discussed; from supply of health services (and the changing structure of that globally), through animal welfare, nutrition, biosecurity, production performance management and therapeutant use to food safety expertise.

The aqueous environment poses a different set of problems to our patients, with fish having to contend with osmoregulatory challenges, lack of thermal control, lower oxygen levels, and more. When it comes to diagnosing and treating fish diseases, speed is critical. The practitioner will essentially need to bring the laboratory and pharmacy to the pond side. There are a range of diagnostic and therapeutic options we can borrow from traditional veterinary medicine, but these do not necessarily translate directly without some modifications.

Most involvement for veterinarians in aquaculture production systems are centred in health research, finfish aquaculture, diagnostic laboratory services and, feed and nutrition, however an aquaculture veterinarian can be called upon to contribute as part of multi-disciplinary teams in a wide range of areas. All the basic principles of veterinary medicine apply to what is a new range of production animals. Understanding approaches to population medicine and epidemiology is critical and the principles are the same; the details are different, the environment is different and some of the major differences and challenges for the veterinarian are explored including physiology, anatomy, the environment and implications on biosecurity initiatives, pathogen distribution and disease emergence and diagnostic and treatment advances and challenges.

This presentation will describe International Aquatic Veterinary Biosecurity Consortium (IAVBC) processes and roles of veterinarians to assist producers prevent, control and eradicate infectious diseases on any Epidemiological Unit (farm to a Nation) and, explain how these and other programs may meet National regulations and OIE Standards.

The panel will engage the audience in a discussion on what opportunities exist to expand their knowledge, skills and experience, what is needed to offer services to aquatic clients, and the problems and opportunities encountered.