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Biosecurity Do you have a plan?

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An introduction to fish culture biosecurity

The intensification of fish culture provides an ideal environment in which disease-causing organisms can flourish and cause serious damage to productivity. Disease may come from any number of sources; however it originates, it spreads through recognised vectors of infection. These include fish stocks, staff and visitors, equipment, vehicles and transportation, other aquatic life, birds and animals, the aquatic environment and even the air itself.

Medication and vaccination have traditionally played a major role in treating diseases but it is now widely

accepted that they cannot, in isolation, prevent losses due to disease. Intensive fish culture demands a holistic

approach. Unless the background challenge from disease causing organisms can be controlled, and good

management practices strictly followed, medication and vaccination alone are not capable of adequately

protecting fish stocks. Fish must be given an environment in which the level of infection is controlled to the point

where vaccination and medication can achieve beneficial effects. Biosecurity is the key to achieving this.

Biosecurity involves the exclusion of disease-causing organisms from the environment. This is particularly

important in fish production and is achieved by the use of external and internal biosecurity barriers

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