Developing New Methods to Better Prevent and Control Diseases Affecting Aquatic Animals

Aquaculture is one of the fastest-growing animal food-producing sectors and, in the next decade, total production from both capture and aquaculture will exceed that of beef, pork or poultry. It is also the fastest growing segment of U.S. agriculture, with farm-raised catfish accounting for most of the aquaculture production. Losses due to disease outbreaks can be catastrophic and account for millions of dollars in lost production annually. For that reason, there is a need to study biosecurity, management practices and risk factors contributing to the introduction and spread of diseases affecting aquatic animals as well as to provide near-real time surveillance systems to better prevent and mitigate disease impact and improve the short, medium and long term sustainability of aquaculture industry local and globaly.