Here’s a nice article about the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC). The ornamental fish health program is based at this facility. THe article gives readers a nice overview of the varied activities at the Visitors Center.
I’m in Singapore, a wonderful city, attending Aquarama one of the major ornamental fish trade shows.
Aquarama is an annual trade show held at the Suntec Convention and trade center in Singapore. The show provides an opportunity for may segments of the industry to come together and network, see new products, conduct business, attend seminars and tour facilities.
The Trade Show
It is a large event strictly devoted to ornamental fish and invertebrates. The show is also well known for its fish and aquarium show. Here producers enter fish, planted tanks and marine aquarium displays. THey are judged by experts and the winners announced. It is another great way for producers to showcase their products.
The Fish Show
THere are also two days of educational seminars, addressing key issues in the industry. Topics covered over the past two days focused on international perspectives on a changing industry and maintaining of improving quality of the animals traded. Speakers from multiple countries provided a diverse range of views, experiences and opinions. Specific topics included:
- Resident-based Ornamental Fisheries in the Western Ghats, India: Managing Poverty Alleviation and Change at the community Level. – Dr. Rajeev Raghavan
- An update on Recent Biosecurity Changes and Their Impact on the Australian Ornamental fish Sector – Shane Willis, Australia
- Roadmap towards a “Green” Aquarium Industry – Scott Dowd, USA
- Eco-Freindly Marine Culture and Capture – A Mexican Perspective – Dr. Nuno Simoes, Mexico
- Potential Impacts of Climate Change on the Ornamental Fish Industry – Ryan Donnelly, Australia
- A New quality Assurance Scheme to Assure better Quality Ornamental Fish from Singapore – Poh Yew Kwang, Singapore
- Total Quality Management in the Aquarium Business – Dr. Anton Lamboj, Austria
- Fish Health and Biosecurity Issues in Retail Shops and Wholesale facilities – Dr. Gerald Bassaleer, The Netherlands
- DNA Multi-Scan a New Fish Disease Diagnostic Tool – Dr. Kris Willems, Belgium
- Implications of Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome Legislation for the Ornamental Aquatic Industry – Somkiat Kanchanakhan, Thailand
- EU Fish Health Legislation: Clarifying the Confusion and Introduction of New Online Tool for the Successful Completion of Health Certificates for Import – Alex Ploeg, The Netherlands
- Invasive Ornamental Fish Species in Singapore: A Case Study – Dr. Ng Heok Hee, Singapore
- A Trade Perspective on Invasive Species – Sven Fossa, Norway
- A Profile of the Indian Ornamental Fish Industry with Special Focus on the Concerns of Key Players – Dr. Mini Sakharan, India
- Trends in Breeding Marine Aquarium Fish: Where Are We Today and Where Do We Need to Go? – Matthew Wittenrich, USA
- Where do Science, Industry, and Aquariums meet?Practical Applications for What Can Be From THings Learned in the Aquarium Hobby – Julian Sprung, USA
What I have taken away from these presentations and my discussions with industry members is that there are three emerging areas that all sectors of the industry must address in the next few years:
- The need for improved biosecurity throughout all sectors of the industry. THis is being driven by new emerging diseases as well as re-emerging diseases that not only pose a threat to the ornamental fish trade but also to the aquaculture industry for food fish and invertebrates. Consequently there is increased scrutiny by the regulatory bodies for national and international trade. THis is a truly global issue since ornamental fish are being exported from over 130 different countries.
- The need to address the issue of aquatic invasive species. There are many animals traded that could have significant invasive potential in many countries. Many of these are banned for import but are often included due to poor quality control at packing or a lack of awareness of the specific regulations and/or risks on the part of the exporters and importers. There is a need for more research characterizing the specific invasive pathways as well as improved outreach and education at all levels when it comes to aquatic invasive species.
- There is emerging pressure to develop specific guidelines that ensure adequate concern for animal welfare throughout all sectors of the industry. At this point the European Union and Australia appear to be the primary drivers though there are also emerging discussions on this topic in the United Staes as well. It is not inconceivable to envision specific regulations that would require documentation of adherence to specific welfare guidelines in order for ornamental fish to be exported to some of these countries. This would probably be very much like a health certificate. Obviously, this will be an area of much spirited debate and diplomacy since the definitions of welfare, the perceptions of an actual need for guidelines, and the appropriate methods for guideline development and enforcement vary dramatically across the globe.
These are all weighty issues that will not be addressed overnight. However, it is very important to continue discussions, continue to develop industry solutions and to maintain contact and educate key regulatory bodies about the industry. The key is to remain proactive. The alternative is regulatory requirements developed and implemented with little industry input. Not making a decision to address an issue is a decision but it may not be a very good one in this case.
Biosecurity has become an emerging issue within the ornamental fish industry. We are seeing increased discussions of biosecurity concepts at the industry , veterinary and regulatory level. OFI has recently publish a book on biosecurity and there is chapter on biosecurity in the new book, Fundamentals of Ornamental Fish Health. As I travel around and visist ornamental fish facilities within the United states and internationally I am alsways interested in learning about different approaches to biosecurity and fish health management. With my upcoming travels to Singapore and Malaysia I thought it would be a good time to begin a series of discussions about biosecurity from our perspective here at OSU. What follows are some thoughts developed by myself and my colleague, Dr. Jerry Heidel.
What is biosecurity?
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 ornamental fish industry: producers, wholesalers, 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.
As import-export regulations for ornamental fish become increasingly stringent on a global level, veterinarians may be called upon to assist ornamental fish 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 an ornamental fish 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.
Next we will discuss basic concepts of pathogen exclusion, pathogen containment and finally best health practices. I look forward to your discussions. TMM
THE PET FISH DOCTOR
When your dog or cat needs medical care, it’s generally not difficult to find a local veterinarian who is familiar with the general afflictions facing these species. But if your fish needs a doctor, whom are you going to call? Veterinarians with knowledge of pet fish medicine may be few and far between, but they do exist.
Dr. Helen Roberts is a small and exotic animal veterinarian who is one of the few practitioners in the country who provide medical and surgical care for fish. Located only 15 minutes from Niagara Falls, she is a partner at the 5 Corners Animal Hospital and is the go-to fish doctor at her associated practice, Aquatic Veterinary Medicine of Western New York. She says that when she talks to people about her work, most are “amazed” that she treats fish, and that she even performs surgery on fish. “I think the public perception is once a fish is sick, it’s dead,” she says. But through her veterinary practice, her educational publications and her lectures to all kinds of audiences about fish health, this outdated perception is beginning to change.
Hello from Japan!! I’ll be here with my host, Tony Prew of All Japan Koi, for a bit over a week. We’ll be visiting a number of Koi farms in the Niigata and Hiroshima and attending two agricultural shows where koi breeders show off some of their best stock. We’ll also be visiting two public aquariums and meeting with the curators and veterinarians at these facilities. Along the way we will also have the opportunity to visit some tropical fish retail facilities.
My goals, as they were with previous trips, are to gain a better understanding the Japanese koi industry, health management practices within the Japanese koi industry, improve my knowledge of koi quality assessment, continue to develop opportunities within the koi industry and public aquarium sector for collaboration in research, education and outreach.
I would also like to express my continued gratitude to Tony Prew and Mr. Hoshino Masaharu of Koda Koi Farm in Niigata and Mr. Joji Konishi of Konishi Koi Farm in Hiroshima for their hospitality and ongoing patience with my endless questions.
Below are a few images from our first full day in Niigata at the koi farms. We also visited a tropical fish retail facility with some beautiful planted aquariums!!
In less than 4 weeks the AVMA Annual Convention will occur in Seattle, WA, July, 11-14, 2009. We have assembled 4 days of training seminars for veterinarians and veterinary technicians with an interest in pet fish and commercial production of shellfish. Click here for a schedule of the sessions we will offer. Further, the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association will hold its Annual General Meeting and two days of clinical presentations related to symptomatology, diagnosis and treatment of common aquatic maladies.
I hope to see you there.
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are a growing global concern. The ornamental fish industry is certainly coming under increased scrutiny as it is involved with the international movement of thousand of aquatic species.
In an effort to educate industry members Ornamental Fish International (OFI) has organized an Invasive Alien Species Conference at the 2009 Aquarama Trade Show in Singapore, May 30, 2009.
OFI has also posted some articles from the OFI Journal that provide some industry perspective on this issue.
The ornamental industry is just one of many industries that will be impacted by this emerging issue which posses significant threats to ecosystem health, human health and economic health on a local, national and global scale.
Oregon Extension Sea Grant has been heavily involved in AIS outreach for a number of years primarily through Sam Chan our Aquatic Ecosystem Health Educator. If you would like to learn more about AIS, particularly in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, visit Sam Chan’s web site. Through his site you can also link to many other sources of information regarding this important topic.
I wanted to make you all aware of two upcoming continuing education opportunities, the Aquatic Ecology and Koi Health Academy and the Aquatic section of the American Veterinary Medical Association Annual meeting.
This will be the third year that Oregon Sea Grant Extension and the College of Veterinary Medicine has partnered with Rail City Garden Center to coordinate the speakers, seminar and wet lab for the Aquatic Ecology and Koi Health Academy. The program has been well received by past participants. Here is some more information from the press release:
In an effort to preserve the knowledge and awareness of Koi health and water ecology, Rail City Garden Center is pleased to announce the 3rd Annual “Greater Nevada Aquatic Ecology & Koi Health Academy.”
A one of a kind event in North America, we have in place an event scheduled for February 28th and March 1st, 2009. This event will be held at the University of Nevada, College of Agriculture building, located in beautiful downtown Reno Nevada. Two tracks available: Pond Professional and Veterinarian track.
Some of the featured speakers include: Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan, DVM – Oregon State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon Sea Grant Extension; Dr. Scott Weber, VMD, MS – University of California, College of Veterinary Medicine; Dr. Richard Strange, PhD – University of Tennessee, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife; Dr. Allen Riggs, DVM – Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture Development Program and Dr. David S. Thain, DVM – University of Nevada, State Extension Veterinarian.
Rail City Garden Center is looking forward to seeing you at the 2009 event. Please call
Please feel free to pass these along to anyone you feel might be interested in the program.
Also, for the veterinarians, keep July, 18-22, 2009 open. This is the AVMA annual meeting which will be in Seattle. We will be offering 4 days of aquatic medicine training with a focus on pet fish. Additionally we will be offering a seminar and wet lab on shellfish medicine. I will make more detailed information available in the near future.