Preventing disease in aquaculture

Restrictions have been imposed on the Logan and Albert rivers following the detection of white spot disease in prawns. Find out more information and report anything unusual to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

A health management program is one way to prevent disease and maintain biosecurity in aquaculture environments. When developing a health management program you should consider your current practices, including planning and design, introducing new animals, dealing with sick animals, chemical usage and records management.

Planning and design

You should prepare a risk management plan to help you prevent, and deal with, the diagnosis of a declared disease or other serious disease event on your farm. Good farm design and construction will limit the chance of disease outbreaks or of stock escaping.

Introducing new animals

If you plan to introduce new animals you should source them from disease-free farms and make sure you arrange health testing and disease-free certification. You should also consider isolating any new animals from the rest of your farm for an appropriate period of time.

Dealing with sick animals

Remove sick and dying animals as soon as possible and treat them in a quarantine section, or dispose of them appropriately, so there is no contamination of healthy animals or the aquatic environment.

Chemical usage

You must comply with the relevant regulations on the use of chemicals. Be aware of registered chemicals for use in aquaculture and when you will need to consult a registered vet. Make sure all staff are aware of any chemicals used and that they are trained in the safe storage, use and handling of chemicals.

Find out more about using chemicals in aquaculture.

Records management

You should record all introductions and disposals of aquatic animals, including their source and destination. Record all outbreaks of sickness and associated death, and measure and record growth rates.

For more information about preventing disease in aquaculture read Health management technical guidelines for aquaculture (PDF, 59KB).

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