The impact of disease on the sustainability of aquaculture
Keywords:Disease, Sustainability, Aquaculture, Control, Biosecurity
The rapid expansion in aquacultural production in the years since the end of the Second World War has been matched by increases in the incidence and severity of disease. Thus, the number of diseases has increased together with losses. However, there has been a growing awareness of the need for and implementation of effective disease control strategies, i.e. to implement effective biosecurity procedures. Attention has focused on site location, water flow, diet and effective management procedures. The latter includes use of sensible hygiene and disinfection policies, movement restrictions and slaughter in the case of the most serious diseases. Advances have been made with combating disease from the initial emphasis on chemotherapy with inhibitory compounds including antibiotics to more modern prophylaxis procedures involving vaccines, non-specific immunostimulants, pre- and probiotics, bacteriophages and medicinal plant products. Challenges remain, but there is evidence of great ingenuity in aquaculture research to overcome obstacles for a sustainable future.
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