Agriculture and Environment: Salmon

Better Management Practices: Reduce Diseases

Disease is one of the main threats to salmon aquaculture operations.

The development and widespread adoption of a code of conduct could help producers both prevent diseases and contain them if they occur.

Producers need their own systems for quarantining animals before introduction if countries do not have their own rules or if such rules are inadequate or are not enforced.

The point here, however, is not simply to obey the law. Diseases can wipe out operations, so there is too much at stake to hide behind laws. Producers must develop their own programs that exceed those of most countries because producers stand to lose if things go wrong.

The importance of disease treatment & containment
Once procedures are established, workers need to understand their role in containment and disease transference issues, whether they work in hatcheries or net-cage operations. Vaccination programs should be mandatory, as should the quarantine of sick animals.

Fish that are untreatable should be killed and properly disposed of so there is no chance that they will infect other fish, either within the aquaculture production system or in the wild.

Diseases in salmon operations are also a threat to wild fish populations. Consequently, diseases should be addressed quickly ad effectively both to maintain the economic viability of the producer and to avoid the potential impact of disease outbreaks on wild populations (Whoriskey 2000).

Diseases should be monitored systematically on all farms as well as within the proximity of farms to better identify and understand the role that farms as well as within the proximity of farms to better identify and understand the role that farms play in maintaining or extending disease vectors. If disease issues cannot be addressed through management, medication, and vaccines, then they may have be addressed through a total reduction of net cages in any given area.


Extracts from "World Agriculture & Environment" by Jason Clay - buy the book online from Island Press

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