Archive for the 'quarantine' Category

Nov 09 2012

Heading off for our Annual Study Tour to Japan

We are heading to Japan Monday morning for our annual trip. Looking forward to meeting old friends and making new ones. I’ve included the outline for the formal portion of the trip . Some may find it interesting. We will also be visiting the Takashi Amano Gallery as well as the Ring of Fire Aquarium in Osaka as well as the Suda Aquarium in Kobe. We’ll have the opportunity to tour behind-the-scenes and meet withe directors, curators , veterinary and husbandry staff. We’ll probably also visit the Hiroshima Memorial as well as the temple complex in Narita.

STUDY TRIP: JAPAN 2012
HEALTH MANAGEMENT WITHIN JAPANESE KOI INDUSTRY
&
DEVELOPING ADEQUATE HEALTH MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS FOR JAPANESE KOI IMPORTED INTO THE UNITED STATES

NOVEMBER 12-21, 2012
Total CE credits proposed: 22 CE Credits

Lead Instructor: Tim Miller-Morgan, DVM
Extension Veterinarian – Aquatic Species
Lead, Aquatic Animal Health Program
Oregon Sea Grant and OSU College of Veterinary Medicine
Oregon State University

Co-Instructors:
Mr. Tony Prew, All Japan Koi, Hillsboro, OR, USA
Mr. Hoshino Masaharu, Koda Yorijo, Niigata, Japan

GOALS: The primary goal of this trip is to familiarize U.S. veterinarians with the Japanese koi industry and the health management practices within the Japanese koi Industry. Further, we will discuss opportunities and barriers to developing health management programs for imported Japanese koi with U.S. based importers and some the characteristics of the high-end U.S. koi hobbyist and their motivations for participating in the hobby and their information seeking strategies. Finally, we will participate in a group project to develop the concept and basic plans for a non-profit fish hospital.

Program Sessions:
1. Farm Visits – Niigata, Chiba and Hiroshima. We will visit a number of small family farms in the Niigata region of Japan and two large farms located just outside of Hiroshima and another outside of Chiba. (15 hours)
a. Farms in Niigata: Shinoda Yorijo, Yagozen, Marusaka Yorijo, Koda Yorijjo, Hosokai Yorijo, Suda Yogyojo. Farm in Hiroshima: Konishi Koi Farm. Farm in Chiba: Tani Farms
b. Instructors: Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan, Mr. Tony Prew and Mr. Hoshino Masaharu
c. Expected outcomes:

  • Observe standard koi handling practices
  • Observe and discuss basic biosecurity protocols related to pathogen exclusion and pathogen containment on and between farms.
  • Discuss common diagnostic procedures and infrastructure available to the koi farmers.
  • Discuss common treatment methodologies utilized by koi farmers in Japan.

2. ZNA 48th International Koi Show, Kobe, Japan – We will attend this koi show and spend time observing some of the highest quality show koi in the world. Mr. Prew a recognized expert on koi varieties and quality will lead this session. (2 hours)
a. Instructors: Mr. Tony Prew and Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan, DVM
b. Expected outcomes:

  • Review the common varieties of koi
  • Discuss assessment of koi quality including: body conformation, color, pattern, deportment and defects.
  •  Observe the common biosecurity protocols utilized at Japanese koi shows.

3. Principles of biosecurity for the koi industry (1 hour)
a. Instructor: Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan
b. Description: Biosecurity consists of the practices and procedures used to prevent the introduction, emergence, spread, and persistence of infectious agents and disease within and around fish production and holding facilities. Furthermore, these practices help eliminate conditions that can enhance disease susceptibility among the fish. In short, biosecurity precautions are put in place to exclude and contain fish pathogens. Biosecurity practices are applicable to all levels of the koi industry: producers, importers, retailers, and hobbyists. Proper use of biosecurity measures will help prevent introduction of infectious disease in a fish facility, and will also help minimize the risk of diseases being passed from producer to hobbyist. Such practices will lead to a healthier and more sustainable industry since decreased or reduced disease leads to decreased losses among broodstock and grow out fish lots, decreased financial output to treat or manage disease outbreaks and improved overall quality of fish for the export or the domestic market.

As import-export regulations for koi become increasingly stringent on a global level, veterinarians may be called upon to assist koi facilities in the planning and implementation of biosecurity programs. We will present a brief overview of the major considerations that should be taken into account when developing a biosecurity program for a koi facility.

Basic biosecurity procedures are uniform across the industry, but the biosecurity plan will be tailored to meet the special needs of each business. As the scope, needs, and finances of the business change, the facility manager will modify and adjust biosecurity measures accordingly, yet maintain the basic tenets of good biosecurity practices.

Designing and implementing biosecurity practices can be simplified if we consider some basic themes: pathogen exclusion, pathogen containment, and basic best health practices. We will consider the elements of each, and show how these elements will allow you to hinder access of pathogens to a facility, control the spread of pathogens that may emerge, and promote high health and disease resistance among the fish in the facility. The overlap of practices addressing these themes will become evident.

4. Development of Best Health Practices for the U.S. Based Koi Dealer and Importer. Opportunities and Barriers for the veterinary practitioner.
(1 hour)
a. Instructor: Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan
b. Description: This Best Health Practices Program (BHPP) is a new initiative aimed at helping control the spread of disease within ornamental pond fish retail facilities and to their customers. Project KHV provided initial support for this project, it is a charitable committee formed in 2004 by the Associated Koi Clubs of America, a nation-wide umbrella group of over 100 Koi clubs. The initial goal of this project was to focus on controlling the spread of Koi herpes virus (KHV) within the US. However, it became readily apparent that a true best health practices program should be broader in scope and address the risks associated with a wide range of common infectious diseases of ornamental pond fish.

The need for such a best health practices program was validated through a national survey of ornamental pond fish retailers and veterinary practitioners actively involved in pet fish medicine.

The BHPP has been designed and written by a group of aquatic animal health professionals. The BHPP is anticipated to operate as follows: Ornamental pond fish retailers will have access to the BHPP implementation guidelines through web-based or face-to-face workshops. Interested retailers may opt to participate in this voluntary program. Trained veterinary practitioners will be able to contract with these retailers to help implement the BHPP and assist with ongoing quality control, quality assurance, health monitoring and disease surveillance. In the future it is possible that compliant retailers may be issued an annual certificate by their veterinarian indicating program compliance. The veterinarian will continue to verify the dealership’s adherence to the program by requiring written Standard Operating Procedures that include ongoing reporting and disease surveillance:

• Facility configuration,
• Biosecurity,
• Employee training,
• Record keeping,
• Regular dealer reports on quarantine,
• Immediate reporting of suspected diseases of concern,
• Appropriate corrective action as required, plus
• Periodic site inspections.

Participating dealers would agree to quarantine all incoming Koi for a specific period of time and at a specific temperature necessary for a number of common diseases to be revealed. Further, they agree to health screening of fish in each fish lot arriving at the quarantine facility. If screening procedures indicate no evidence of disease or asymptomatic carriers, the fish are released for sale. If disease is suspected, the partnered veterinarian directs and monitors the dealer’s investigation and corrective action.

An online course and accompanying wet lab will also be available to those interested in becoming certified BHPP veterinarians. One of the other goals of this program is to build further opportunities for veterinarians within the ornamental fish hobby and industry.

For Hobbyists, the advantages are obvious. Customers would have a reduced risk of purchasing diseased fish from retail facilities.

For Dealers, the advantages include:

• The BHP helps prevent disease from entering other portions of their facilities beyond quarantine,
• Being proactive and adopting reasonable self-regulation may preclude or at least forestall mandatory government intervention into this problem,
• It offers an opportunity to establish a working relationship with qualified veterinarians who can provide additional valuable fish-health advice and services, and
• Dealers can favorably differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

It is important to note that the BHPP does not certify any fish as being disease free. It is a best management program designed to minimize the likelihood of an infected fish leaving a dealer’s facility.

The authors group developed the preliminary BHPP and an associated online training program for veterinarians. Six koi dealers from across the US and four veterinarians participated in this beta-test of the program to assess the feasibility, practicality and effectiveness of the overall program. Feedback was provided throughout the implementation process and after the participating veterinarians had determined each facility had achieved compliance.

We will discuss the outcomes of this beta-test as well as some of the opportunities for practicing veterinarians and pitfalls that can be associated with developing health management programs for this sector of the industry in the United States.

5. Characterizing the Koi Kichi – What makes the koi hobbyists tick, How do we reach them?, and How to we get compliance? (1 hour)
a. Instructor: Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan
b. Description: Hobby activities can be viewed through the lens of informal, free-choice learning. A wide range of hobbies combine fun and learning-intensive practices, and can contribute to scientific literacy. Hobby learning involves clear goal orientation, persistence and effort, and often results in more richly and strongly connected knowledge; traits highly valued in both in and out-of-school science learning. In this study, Koi hobbyists were sued as subjects to discover and explore hobbyists’ information-seeking strategies under different learning scenarios. We approached koi hobbyists’ learning about koi and their koi hobby in both quantitative and qualitative ways. We designed a Stage of Engagement Model to illustrate koi hobbyists’ engagement with their hobby, and adapted Falk and Dierking’s Contextual Model of Learning to explain how personal, socio-cultural and physical contextual factors affect koi hobbyists’ learning.

An instrument was developed to assess koi hobbyists’ experience with keeping koi, knowledge about the hobby, motivation/goals, interaction with other hobbyists, and the information-seeking strategies they used under different learning scenarios. This questionnaire was administered to koi hobbyist communities in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and online. Based on the quantitative analysis, the results supported the hypotheses that koi hobbyists chose different information-seeking strategies based on personal contextual factors such as previous experience, motivation and learning goals; socio-cultural contextual factors such as interactions with other koi hobbyists; and physical contextual factors such as the nature of the problems they encounter. Koi hobbyists also chose different information-seeking strategies based upon their stage of engagement with their hobby. The long-term potential of this study is to offer insights into how learners construct their knowledge by applying different learning strategies under different personal, socio-cultural and physical circumstances, and to provide a framework for the future study of other kinds of hobbies and hobbyists that will help to promote public scientific literacy.

The results of this work will be useful for the veterinary practitioner wishing to develop better communication with this unique client base. This work provides some valuable insights that are very useful in terms of understanding changing needs and information sources of the koi hobbyists as he/she moves through the hobby.

This work based upon the PhD Dissertation of Dr. Michael Liu, a former Senior Aquarist and Research Aquarist within the Aquatic Animal Health Program. He received his PhD in Science and Math Education/Free-Choice Learning.

6. Designing the Optimal Fish Hospital (roundtable discussion) (2 hours)
a. Instructor/Facilitators: Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan and Tony Prew
b. Description: Participants will discuss the key aspects and features necessary to develop a not-for-profit fish hospital serving both freshwater and saltwater clients. The final outcome of this roundtable will be a rough diagram of the facility as well as a basic equipment and services synopsis.
c. Expected outcomes:

  • Develop a list of basic services that could be offered at such a facility
  • Develop a strategy for staffing such a facility: Medical director, technicians, local clinicians
  • Rough floor plan for such a facility given the current footprint available and the existing structures (the land and some basic structures are in place.
  • Develop a basic equipment list for equipping such a facility.
  • Assess interest for further participation in this project and develop a communication strategy.

 

I will try to post a few comments and pictures as we progress on our trip.

 

Until later.

 

Dr. Tim

3 responses so far

Aug 13 2012

Save the Dates!! Two Educational Opportunities in Newport

The Aquatic Animal Health Program will be offering two seminars/workshops in the coming months that may be of interest to hobbyists and individuals working in the ornamental fish industry.

 

Emerging Issues in Aquatic Animal Health: Ornamental Fish

September 29, 2012

Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, OR

Cost: $100.00

Registration online (click here)

Purpose: The goal of this regular seminar is to provide an opportunity for industry professionals and ornamental fish hobbyists to learn about emerging and current aquatic animal health issues that affect the industry and to receive updates about ongoing research related to these important issues.

 

Seminar topics and Speakers:

—Fish Stress, Pain and Welfare: What do we know and what can your do? – —Dr. Carl Schreck, Fish Stress Physiologist, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University

—Aquatic Invasive Species in the pet store and the classroom: Is it a problem? How can retailers help prevent the introduction of non-native aquatic animals?— – Dr. Sam Chan, Aquatic Ecosystem Health Specialist, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University

—What’s New with Koi Herpes Virus? – Dr. Ling Jin, Virologist, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University
—Mycobacteriosis, an ongoing issue within the ornamental fish industry: What have we learned about managing this disease? – Dr. Mike Kent, Fish Pathologist/Parasitologist, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University
—Bacterial disease and antibiotic resistance among imported ornamental fish: Should you worry? – Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan, Extension Veterinarian – Aquatic Species, Oregon Sea Grant, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University

 

 

Koi Health Basics: Seminar and Wet Lab

October 13, 2012

Hatfield Marine Science Center

Newport, OR

Cost: $100.00

Registration online (click here)

OVERVIEW: The purpose of the seminar and wet lab is to introduce the novice koi keeper to the basics of koi health including: the biology of koi health, disease recognition and prevention, quarantine, proper fish handling and the basic health evaluation.

Instructors:

—Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan, Extension Veterinarian – Aquatics
—Dr. Trace Petersen, Aquatic Veterinarian/Fish Pathologist
—Dr. Nadia Stegeman, Aquatic Veterinarian

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Aug 03 2012

ATOLL: Aquaculture Training and Online Learning – A new opportunity to get basic training in fish culture and aquaponics at the University of Hawaii

University of Hawaii has developed a unique online learning site for individuals seeking to develop basic skills in aquaculture and aquaponics. The program, Aquaculture Training and Online Learning (ATOLL), is an excellent way to begin to develop the core knowledge and skills for working at an entry level in the aquaculture or aquaponics industry. Further, the modules on aquaponics  will be very useful for anyone  interested in building a backyard aquaponics system.

There is one fee for full access to the program and you may work through the modules sat your own pace. Upon completion of each module there is a quiz and and upon passing the quiz you will receive notification of  module completion. You also have the ability to immediately rate each module and interact with other students around the world through the online student center.

Our initial Beta offering of ATOLL last Spring had 138 students from U.S., Morocco, Mexico, Brazil, Palau, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Finland, Singapore, Bahamas, Portugal, Chile, Belgium, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Ecuador,  and Russia!

I have been involved in preparing a number of the modules related to fish form and function, biosecurity and health management, aquaculture systems, and the ornamental fish industry. It was a great experience, my first time developing such an online module. Try it out and let me know what you think. We are always willing to hear suggestions about how we can improve the program.

Check out the site!!

Thanks,

Dr. Tim

One response so far

Apr 10 2012

2012 Ornamental Fish Medicine Course, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, Oregon

 

Just finished teaching 1 week intensive Ornamental Fish Medicine Course. Great group of 12 participants: 8 senior veterinary students from OSU, 2 professional aquarists (Oregon Coast Aquarium and Seattle Aquarium), 1 veterinarian from the SEattle Aquarium, and 1 colleague from India ( Dr. Anna Mercy, Kerala College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences). Great learning experience for all of us. Great exchanges during the lectures, labs, group projects and case studies. Looking forward to next year. Considering expanding to 2 weeks. Thanks to my co-instructors: Dennis Glaze, Dr. Jerry Heidel, Stu Clausen, and Dr. Anna Mercy.

 

Dr. Mercy is from Kerala College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, India. She participated in the course but was also kind enough to give two lectures. One lecture addressed the current status of the Indian ornamental fish industry and outreach work she has lead to train ornamental fish farmers. In the second lecture Dr. Mercy discussed some of the common health problems associated with collecting native broodstock  and breeding these fish in captivity. We recorded both of these lectures and you will be able to view them on our YouTube channel soon. I will post the links once the lectures have been posted.

 

Here’s the course outline for the course this year.

 

VMB 727
ORNAMENTAL FISH MEDICINE
April 2-6, 2012
Lead Instructor:
Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan, DVM
Oregon Sea Grant – Aquatic Animal Health
College of Veterinary Medicine
tim.miller-morgan@oregonstate.edu
Co-Instructors:
Dr. Jerry Heidel, DVM, PhD, DACVP, Cert. Fish Pathologist
Dennis Glaze, AAS – Aquarium Science
Stuart Clausen, BS, Cert. Aquarium Science

 

Recommended Texts:
o Wildgoose, W. 2001. BSAVA Manual of Ornamental Fish, Second Edition, BSAVA, Gloucester, UK 304p. Available through Amazon.com and Blackwell Publishing.
o Noga, E. 2010. Fish Disease Diagnosis and Treatment. Mosby, New York. Available through Amazon.com and Blackwell Publishing Roberts, H. 2010.
o Roberts, H. (2010) Fundamentals of Ornamental Fish Health, Wiley-Blackwell, New York. 229p.

 

MONDAY (We’ll start @ 0900)
AM (Old Library)
• Introduction
• Ornamental Fish: Essential Anatomy and Physiology and the Interface with the Captive Environment. (Old Library)
PM
• Clinical approach and procedures (Old Library)
• Laboratory: fish handling, sedation and common clinical procedures (West Wing – AAHTL)

 

TUESDAY
AM
• Laboratory: Review – Components water management systems (Dennis Glaze, West Wing – AAHTL)
• Life Support System Assessment (Old Library)
o Fish Health Cases I (Handout) – water management cases

PM
• Fish Necropsy and Dissection (Lab – TBA, Dr. Jerry Heidel)
• Laboratory: fish handling, sedation and common clinical procedures, cont. (West Wing – AAHTL)

• Evening Lecture – An Overview of the Indian Ornamental Fish Industry (Dr. Anna Mercy)

 

WEDNESDAY
AM
• Common Clinical Problems of Ornamental fish I (Old Library)
• Common Clinical Problems of Pet Fish II (Old Library)

PM

• Common Clinical Problems of Pet Fish II cont. (Old Library)
• Management and treatment of fish disease
• Laboratory: fish handling, sedation and common clinical procedures, cont. (West Wing – AAHTL)
o Fish Health Cases II (Handout) – Medical Cases

 

THURSDAY
AM
• Biosecurity and the Essential Principles of Fish Health Management (Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan)
• Collection, Transport and Acclimation of Ornamental Fish ( Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan)
• Handout Biosecurity consultation problems (Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan and Dennis Glaze)

PM
• Common Health Management Issues Associated with the Production of Native Indian Fish Species (Dr. Anna Mercy)
• Case Discussions I

 

FRIDAY
AM (Old Library)
• Laboratory:
o Assessing fish populations (Oregon Coast Aquarium)
o Handling, sedation and clinical examination of elasmobranchs (Stu Clausen, Oregon Coast Aquarium, Passages of the Deep)
PM (Old Library)
• Biosecurity Consultation problem (Old Library)
• Case Discussions II
• Evaluations

 

One response so far

Mar 20 2012

Under the Sea Radio – Another Interview

I’m a bit late posting this but on February 5th I did another interview with the Under the Sea Radio Show. We had a wide ranging discussion over two hours. THe first hour really addressed careers in veterinary medicine with a focus on aquatics. The second hour was quite an open discussion of fish health management. I hope you enjoy the show.

No responses yet

Jun 07 2011

Dr. Tim discusses quarantine of marine ornamental fish and invertebrates

Last week while I was in Singapore I had the opportunity to discuss fish health management and particularly quarantine of marine ornamental fish and invertebrates with Kevin Erickson a director-at-large with the Marine Aquarium Society of North America.

I’m constantly amazed at technology and the capability to communicate globally. We did the interview via Skype. Kevin was in Stirling, Scotland and I was in Singapore. What an amazing world!!

I hope you find the interview interesting. Please feel free to post any comments. I’m always interested in your comments and opinions.

No responses yet

Jun 01 2011

Farm Visits – Singapore and Malaysia, some impressions

On my way home today.  I’m writing this at the airport in Vancouver BC.

Over the past few days I’ve had the opportunity to visit a number of farms and export facilities in both Singapore and Malaysia. What I’ve taken away is an industry in these countries that is working to significantly upgrade their biosecurity and health screening procedures to meet increasing demands as well as anticipated new requirements from the World Animal Health Organization, the EU, Australia and to some extent the US.

We visited a number of facilities with significant biosecurity protocols which included:

  • Separate quarantine facilities for export – fish are quarantined in these export facility prior to shipment. These facilities are separate from the actual production facilities. We visited two of these facilities that are slated to come on line in the next few months.
  • Some facilities have two levels of quarantine; pre-quarantine at the production facility prior to shipment to the export quarantine facility.
  • Separate facilities for holding domestic and imported fish.
  • Movement from pond culture to tank and cement pond culture. Easier to prevent disease spread and easier to disinfect the rearing units.
  • Tanks and ponds with individual water supplies and filtration. Water is not shared between tanks/ponds.
  • Dedicated equipement for each tank or rearing unit.
  • Individual siphons for each holding/rearing tank. These were actually hard-plumbed. Pretty cool idea.
  • Bird netting, covered or enclosed rearing areas.
  • Regular disease screening for export purposes but also as part of an ongoing health management program.

These are a few of the more significant examples of the move to more biosecure production systems.

Of course, there are still many facilities that are rearing fish in the older style pond culture systems many with many cage nets within individual ponds. There are also problems with pest control in some facilities – frogs moving between pods, birds, snakes. Further, there are instances where there appears to be inadequate disinfection between batches, not pulling mortalities quickly and inadequate equipment disinfection. I believe all of these issues can be addressed in time.

However, the hobbyist must be willing to pay more for this increased level of health management and biosecurity. All too often I hear, particularly in the US that hobbyists want healthier and safer fish but I’m told by many retailers that they are unwilling to pay more for these fish. Price still seems to be the guiding factor. THese additional health management practices add cost to the production process and it is important for the hobbyist to understand this fact.

Just some initial thoughts. Next I will post some images to give you a feel for the different types of farms and export facilities. Stay tuned. TMM

One response so far

May 22 2011

Biosecurity Practices – Essential Considerations for the Pet Fish Industry: Pathogen Exclusion

This post is really aimed at the retailer but the basic principles can be applied in all segments of the industry. Again, the specific approaches to biosecurity  must be tailored to the actual risks, needs and capability of each facility. TMM

The goal of pathogen exclusion is to prevent the entrance of an infectious agent into a facility, thereby preventing infection and possibly disease in a group of fish.  To accomplish this, you must recognize and understand the various routes by which an infectious agent can enter a pristine fish tank or pond. This allows you to plan defensive measures that will block that entry.

Fish-associated entry:

An obvious route of entry of pathogens into a facility is via the incoming fish. These animals may be asympotmatic carriers of a pathogen, or may have frank disease. It can be very difficult to determine if one is receiving healthy fish, and rarely can a manager be totally confident that the fish he has received are in fact healthy. To help minimize opportunities for diseased fish to enter a facility, owners/managers must scrutinize potential suppliers before fish are purchased or shipped.

Water-associated entry:

The presence and persistence of pathogens in water makes this medium a potential source of pathogen entry into a fish facility.  Water supply is a major consideration when designing a biosecurity program based upon pathogen exclusion.

Food-associated entry:

Fish food can not only serve as a source of pathogens, but poor, contaminated or spoiled diets can compromise the fish and make them more susceptible to infection by pathogens.  In most cases, good quality commercial diets will satisfy the basic nutritional requirements of ornamental fish, and are unlikely to host infectious agents.  As with fish suppliers, one should consider reputation and history of service when selecting food suppliers.  The food should be carefully inspected to ensure that there is no spoilage.  Live foods deserve special consideration as there is a higher potential for harboring pathogens, and caution is warranted.  Pretreatment or quarantine of the live food animals may be considered.

Person-associated entry:

The people that enter a facility, whether staff or customers, should be considered in a biosecurity plan as they can be a source of pathogen introduction as well as pathogen persistence.  Obviously, these people cannot be excluded from the facility, but the risks they pose can be managed.

Quarantine to prevent pathogen entry

Quarantine is critical to preventing introduction of pathogens into a facility. Quarantine also provides for the important process of acclimation of fish to new water conditions, new husbandry protocols, and new feeds.  Furthermore, the quarantine system and quarantine period allows time for the fish immune system to recuperate from the stresses of transport and handling.

All new fish that arrive at a facility should be quarantined.  Fish from separate sources should be quarantined separately. Additionally, any fish that have had contact with fish or water from other facilities, that are wild-caught or farm-raised, or have been returned to the facility by customers should also be quarantined before they are mixed with holding or display stock. Finally, many plants and invertebrates are capable of carrying potential fish disease agents including intermediate stages of many common fish parasites. Therefore it is wise to quarantine all plants and invertebrates in separate quarantine systems.

Quarantine Facilities and Systems

A quarantine facility should be distinct from the retail, wholesale, or import facility.  It can be located in a separate building or within a room adjacent to the main fish holding area, physically separated by a closed door and footbath.  Quarantine facilities should have designated equipment that is not used outside the quarantine area. Access to this facility is restricted to those employees assigned to this work area.  The restricted access to the quarantine area should be clearly emphasized by appropriate and well-placed signage, limiting access to those properly trained and authorized to be in that area.

Figure 1. illustrates the features of a quarantine system as well as the recommended movement of fish through the ornamental fish facility.

Figure 1. Recommended flow of fish through a quarantine facility at an ornamental fish retail establishment. The figure reiterates some of the important questions and issues a facility manager must consider in order to prevent disease introduction and propagation within a facility. These same considerations would be generally applicable within any ornamental fish enterprise.

The duration of quarantine is generally based upon the life-cycle of the most common disease organisms found in the fish species of interest. A quarantine period of 2-4 weeks at the optimal temperature is often recommended. The authors generally recommend a 4-week quarantine as a minimum for most species of fish, although many veterinarians would recommend 60-90 days of quarantine for many cool-water pond fish. However, this duration may not be practical for many businesses.  If a retailer is unable to complete recommended quarantine periods, they should strongly urge their customers to establish their own quarantine in the above fashion for the recommended period of time.

As the fish progress through the quarantine period, diseases may emerge, and treatment rather than culling of the affected fish may be considered. During quarantine fish must be examined daily. Dead or sick fish should be promptly culled and examined by trained staff or veterinarians to identify the cause of death or illness so that corrective and preventative measures and/or treatments can be started. When possible routine health monitoring of apparently healthy fish may be considered to identify emerging disease issues within a facility before they become a serious problem. Such monitoring may include: physical examination, skin scrapes, gill biopsies, fecal examinations, bacteriology, serology, molecular diagnostics and/or necropsy depending on the species and potential disease risks.

Your comments are always welcome. I’d be particularly interested in comments/experiences about implementing pathogen exclusion approaches at large import and/or production facilities.  In the next post I’ll discuss the principles of pathogen containment. TMM

No responses yet

Oct 12 2010

Dr. Tim rambling on about various aspects of Koi Health on KoiTV

Koi-TV features videos of Dr. Tim demonstrating and discussing various common fish health procedures and protocols on koi. These were all done in one take. To my colleagues who will say, ” you should have mentioned…..”, yes I know. I will address some these in later posts. It’s hard to remember everything without cue cards.

My profound thanks to Promod and Sumi from KoiTV for their patience on this project. I hope we can continue and produce some more educational vignettes.

One response so far

Sep 30 2010

Ornamental Marine Fish Survival Survey

Coral Magazine recently posted an online survey intended to address survival of ornamental marine fish in their readers tanks. Coral Magazine put this survey out in response to an editorial and book promotion written by Robert Winter and posted on the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society website.

The current survey results are based upon approximately 250-300 responses according to James Lawrence the editor and publisher of Coral magazine. He cautions that Coral readers tend to be high achievers in the marine aquarium keeping world but there also were a few responders that are new to the hobby.

Both items have stimulated a number of interesting responses. I found Dr. Neil Monks response particularly thought provoking.

I encourage you to review the survey results and read the various responses. What’s clear is that the answers are not simple and people are passionate about these issues but that there is much room for improvement when it comes to overall health management of these species from reef to the home tank. I appreciate Coral Magazine’s willingness to delve into this issue and I’ve found the forum discussions to be very interesting.

As with any industry and hobby there are conscientious and unscrupulous players. It is always easy to point fingers but I’m most interested in how we can constantly move to improve the quality of marine ornamental fish health. Parts of the survey begin to get at this but I’d like to hear some suggestions addressing how the industry and the hobby can begin to be more proactive when addressing these issues.

Some questions for discussion:

  • Can there be sustainable harvest?
  • Is aquaculture the answer?
  • If so, what about the many communities that depend upon wild harvest for their livelihoods?
  • Do you think certification is or can be effective?
  • How can we incentivize improved health management throughout the supply chain?
  • How can we better reach hobbyists and instill the importance of quality husbandry?
  • Is it possible to economically insert quarantine and disease screening into the industry?
  • If not, how can we convince hobbyists to set up their own quarantine systems?
  • How would you go about convincing a new  hobbyist to institute quarantine?
  • Can veterinarians play a role here? If so, how? If not, why?
  • If the global veterinary profession could assist the industry and hobby what would be the most appropriate role we should play?
  • Obviously, my focus is on fish health. Feel free to insert other issues into the discussion.

In past posts I’ve been accused of preaching to the choir. That’s fine because I’m interested in your thoughts as active/passionate members of this hobby and industry .  Be creative. Think outside the box.

So, Let’s hear your your thoughts, comments and ideas!! Just be civil!!

3 responses so far

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