Online MedAID Health Forum

Online Health Forum: Biosecurity in Mediterranean marine aquaculture


MedAID (Horizon 2020 EU project) announces a new discussion within Online Health Forum starting from 4th of May.

All fish health experts are kindly invited to the discussions.

Instruction for joining is available in this guide:


Dates: 4th to 18th May 2020

Forum coordinator: Snježana Zrnčić (HVI, Croatia)

Discussion moderators: Nadia Cherif (INSTM, Tunisie); Alain Le Breton (Vet’eau, France)

Transboundary aquatic animal diseases are highly contagious, and the transmissible agents are potential for very rapid spread irrespective of national borders causing serious socio-economic and possible health consequences. The great value of aquaculture to contribute to food and nutrition security and poverty alleviation has been hampered by significant biosecurity and animal disease challenges. Addressing biosecurity challenges in aquaculture requires a holistic approach that takes into consideration all essential components (technical, communication, infrastructure, operations, etc.) of an aquaculture biosecurity program. All of these program components cannot stand-alone, they are interrelated and interconnected. Subsequently, health maintenance in aquaculture is now considered to be one of the most important aspects of aquaculture development and management.

Biosecurity audits are required to identify all the potential sanitary risks existing on a production site and their related hazards. While these risks are identified and prioritized, adequate procedures will be implemented to control and prevent them. Applied procedures need to be written down, compiled in a Biosecurity Plan, and explained to the farm staff who must be involved in the biosecurity process at all levels (managers, technicians, all employees). Implementation and maintenance of good biosecurity practices will lead to the prevention and reduction of associated risks. A biosecurity plan will include a contingency plan as well as in case of health issues, diagnostic, and treatment procedures.

  1. Objectives of the discussion
  • To discuss the most recent measures implemented in preventing and reducing the risks of aquatic animal disease introduction and spread.
  • To increase the awareness of emerging diseases and engaging stakeholders in mitigating these risks.
  • To exchange opinion/scientific data to help fish farmers implementing their biosecurity plans and updating them taking into consideration variability or changes due to: 1) emergence of unknown diseases; 2) a better understanding of dynamics and epidemiology of disease; and 3) improved diagnostic and detection methods.
  • To share the experience of farmers about how to deal with management challenges, from enterprise to international level, dealing with the intensification of aquaculture (farms getting bigger and more concentrated); increased movement of broodstock, post-larvae, fingerlings, and fry for regional and inter-regional trade; introduction of new species for aquaculture or breakdown in general biosecurity responsibilities and responses.
  • To identify capacity-building needs to address aquatic biosecurity gaps or lapses in the Mediterranean region.
  1. Process proposed to focus the discussion

The health farm experts are encouraged to share their valuable practical knowledge; the current prevention strategy should be profoundly evaluated and analyzed

  1. The topics that should be discussed
  • Biosecurity rules.
  • Good aquaculture practices in the prevention and management of infectious diseases.
  • Cleaning and disinfection methods.