Sustainable aquaculture and aquatic resources management

Announcement regarding free release of primers for specific detection of bacterial isolates that cause acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND)

Author(s): Flegel, T., Lo, C-F. | Published: 14/1/2014 | 3393 views

Efforts to control AHPND have been hampered by the lack of a specific and rapid detection method that could be used to determine the reservoirs of the causative bacterial isolates, to insure their absence in shrimp broodstock and post larvae, to monitor shrimp during cultivation and to aid research on possible control measures.

In Thailand and Taiwan since 2012, our two groups have been conducting cooperative research on possible PCR methods to detect isolates of AHPND bacteria. On 5 December 2013 we obtained the sequence comparison information that allowed us to prepare several test PCR detection methods, and we have spent the last 20 days validating them. Today we are announcing the best method we have found so far.

In Thailand, this research has been carried out through cooperation among researchers at Centex Shrimp (Mahidol-BIOTEC cooperative center) and  the Department of Public Health both at Mahidol University and theAquaculture Business Research Center, Faculty of Fisheries, Kasetsart University. The work has been supported since 2011 by contributory funds from many sources including the Agriculture Research and Development Agency, the National Research Council of Thailand, the Thai Commission for Higher Education, Mahidol University, the National Science and Technology Development Agency, the Patani Shrimp Farmers Club, the Surathani Shrimp Farmers Club, the Thai Frozen Foods Association, Charoen Pokphand Company, SyAqua Co. Ltd. and Thai Union Co. Ltd. In Taiwan, the research has also been supported from several sources including the Taiwan National Science Council, National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), National Taiwan University (NTU) and Unipresident Enterprises Corporation.

Determinants for WSD outbreaks in Indonesian smallholder shrimp ponds– a pilot study of locality factors, WSSV genotype distributions and pond factors

Author(s): Callinan, R., Whittington, R., Sumarto, B., Toribio, J., Walker, P., Herianto, A., Gudkovs, N., Rooke, E., Murwantoko, Amin, N.N., Taslihan, A., Mustafa, A., Fachry, M.E. | Published: 25/11/2013 | 3001 views

This study focused on events in a representative, 50-pond Indonesian shrimp farming system in Pangkep district, South Sulawesi. Ponds were stocked with Penaeus monodon and the study extended across a single cropping period between May and October 2010. It was designed to improve our understanding of the main causal pathways for white spot disease (WSD), the most serious cause of production loss in these systems. The longitudinal observational study focused on recording the occurrence of different genotypes of the causal infectious agent, white spot syndrome virus (WSSV), in selected components of the system across time, and looking for relationships with pond outcomes, particularly WSD occurrence. We expected that findings would (a) enable relevant Indonesian agencies, and ultimately farmers themselves, to better identify localities suitable for smallholder shrimp farming using better management practice (BMP) programs and (b) inform modification and simplification of these programs, thereby improving both profitability and adoption rates.

Objectives were:

  1. To determine the stability of WSD outbreak-associated WSSV genotypes when passaged through WSSV-free Litopenaeus vannamei, WSSV PCR test-negative P. monodon and selected other WSSV PCR test-negative, non-penaeid hosts;
  2. To identify, using locality-specific environmental data, pond environmental data and data on WSSV genotype distribution and dynamics, the likely determinants for WSD outbreaks at a suitable, broadly representative locality in South Sulawesi.

Our transmission trials showed that genotypy variations did not occur during three sequential passages (four including the preparation of the stock inoculums) in L. vannamei or alternatively in other crustacean hosts. This indicates the genotypes are likely to be sufficiently stable for use in local epidemiological studies during disease outbreaks in shrimp ponds.

WSD outbreaks were recorded in 11 of the study ponds. Outbreaks were attributed to WSSV genotype TRS5 in seven ponds and to genotypes TRS4 and TRS6 in two ponds each. Data analysis showed that:

  • WSSV was ubiquitous at the site. Strategies to prevent WSD outbreaks are probably more useful than trying to prevent WSSV infection in endemic areas.
  • Stocking with WSSV PCR test-negative postlarvae (PLs) supports maintenance of an outbreak-free pond for at least the first two months of production.
  • Once PLs have been excluded as a risk factor for WSSV infection, biosecurity (minimising risk of heavy WSSV exposure post stocking) and environmental factors (management of risk factors for WSD outbreaks) become more important.
  • Water released from WSD outbreak ponds was likely to be an important initiator of disease outbreaks in upstream and downstream ponds;
  • Crabs, wild shrimp, zooplankton and/or polychaetes were not important sources of WSSV infection for WSD outbreaks in farmed shrimp.

These findings suggest that stocking PCR test-negative PLs, coupled with careful management of water intake during nearby WSD outbreaks are the two most useful practice changes farmers can adopt to reduce the risk of outbreaks in their ponds. Establishment of an active, well-resourced and trained extension service, committed to fostering cohesive, informed farmer groups, is the key to enabling these inexpensive practice changes.

Aquatic Animal Diseases Significant to Asia-Pacific: Identification Field Guide

Published: 14/8/2007 | 5962 views
NACA and the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) are pleased to release this field guide. The result of a collaborative activity among a number of fish health experts from various organizations in the Asia-Pacific region, it is aimed at improving the ability to diagnose diseases of significance to aquaculture and fisheries in the region. NACA appreciates the leadership provided by DAFF in developing and publishing this field guide. It drew extensively from the experiences and previous and ongoing research activities in health management in Australia and other countries in Asia and thus joins the growing body of practical knowledge published for Asia-Pacific aquaculture and fisheries. This field guide provides fisheries and aquaculture managers, recreational fishers, border protection staff, environmentalists, students of aquatic animal health, and fisheries management with a reference guide to support decisions on aquatic animal health. The regional field guide covers all diseases listed in the Quarterly Aquatic Animal Disease (QAAD) reporting system which includes all OIE listed diseases plus diseases of regional concern. The field guide is available for free download.

ICAR-NACA workshop on "Aquatic epidemiology, surveillance and emergency preparedness"

Published: 2/10/2007 | 2382 views
The above national workshop in India was completed successfully in CIBA, Chennai, from 3-7 Sepember 2007. Thirty four middle and senior level officers from 19 key national institutions participated in the workshop. Resource experts from India, Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and NACA contributed to the workshop. The objective of the workshop was to support implementation of national aquatic animal health strategies in India, including surveillance and disease reporting. The final report and recommendations is available for free download.

Strengthening Aquatic Animal Health Capacity and Biosecurity in ASEAN (AADCP:RPS 370-021) -Final Rep

Published: 13/8/2007 | 2260 views
The final report is presented in two parts. (Part A) Recommended Minimum Operational Requirements for Implementing National Aquatic Animal Health Strategies within ASEAN and (Part B) ASEAN progress in the implementation of National Aquatic Animal Health Strategies.

Part A of this document is the result of the working group discussions during the Second Policy Workshop of the project held in Bali-Indonesia from 7-10 May 2007. This section identifies the minimum operational requirements for implementing national aquatic animal health strategies within ASEAN. Part B of this document is a compilation of the information on the status of implementation of various elements contained in national aquatic animal health strategies within ASEAN. The report is available for free download.

Aquatic Epidemiology, surveillance and emergency preparedness-National Workshop in India

Published: 13/8/2007 | 2055 views
The workshop is a collaborative activity between ICAR and NACA to build capacity and awareness in relevant stakeholders and institutions. The workshop will be held in CIBA, Chennai from 3-7 September 2007. The purpose of the 5 day workshop is to build capacity and awareness of relevant national stakeholders in the areas of aquatic epidemiology, risk analysis, surveillance and emergency preparedness. The long term objective is to support implementation of National strategies for better aquatic animal health management with a focus on improved surveillance, reporting, early response, emergency preparedness, risk analysis, certification and quarantine. For details please see the prospectus and contact Dr CV Mohan at

PCR training and PCR calibration in India

Published: 16/7/2007 | 2695 views
Under the ACIAR funded regional project- Application of PCR for improved shrimp health management in the Asian region-two PCR training workshops and two PCR calibration exercises were completed in India. The report provides details of the activities and outcomes.

SOPs for health certification and quarantine measures for the responsible movement of live food finf

Published: 15/7/2007 | 2269 views
ASEAN Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been developed to reduce the risk of spread of transboundary diseases of aquatic animals by the movement of live food finfish (LFF). These SOPs are a set of documents for health certification and quarantine measures to be used by CA for the responsible movement of LFF by land, sea and air among ASEAN Member Countries. These SOPs have been developed under the AADCP:RPS project 370-018, Operationalise Guidelines on Responsible Movement of Live Food Finfish. This project is coordinated by ASEC, NACA and AusVet for Cardno ACIL who manage the AADCP:RPS program for ASEC and AusAID.

Workshop on building capacity to combat impacts of aquatic invasive alien species

Published: 16/1/2006 | 3162 views

This report contains the papers presented and outcomes from the workshop ?Building capacity to combat impacts of aquatic invasive alien species and associated trans-boundary pathogens in ASEAN countries, hosted by the Department of Fisheries, Government of Malaysia, on 12th-16th July 2004. The workshop was generously supported through a US State Department grant, and co-sponsored by several other agencies.

PCR workshop completion report and recommendations

Published: 2/12/2005 | 3053 views
Under the ACIAR funded Regional Project - Application of PCR for improved shrimp health management in the Asian region ? being implemented since January 2005, a 5 day PCR training workshop was jointly organized by MPEDA, CIBA-ICAR, CSIRO and NACA from 17-21 October 2005, at CIBA, Chennai, India. A total of 28 participants representing mainly the private and government PCR service providing laboratories were trained. The workshop completion report provides details on proposed future activities and key recommendations

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