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The Fish-Vet Dialogue: Improving communication and collaboration in aquatic organism health management












FAO. 2024. The Fish-Vet Dialogue: Improving communication and collaboration in aquatic organism health management. FAO Fisheriesand Aquaculture Circular, No. 1275. Rome. 




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    Report of the Round-Table Discussion: Moving Forward through Lessons Learned on Response Actions to Aquatic Animal Disease Emergencies, Rome, 16–18 December 2019 2021
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    This report presents the results of a Round-table discussion: moving forward through lessons learned on response actions to aquatic animal disease emergencies organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) under the auspices of the project GCP/GLO/979/NOR: “Improving Biosecurity Governance and Legal Framework for Efficient and Sustainable Aquaculture Production” that was held from 16–18 December 2019 at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy. The meeting was attended by 43 experts from 22 countries, representing governance authorities, intergovernmental organizations, academia, research institutions and the private sector. Twenty presentations were delivered, namely: (1) National Competent Authority: role and experiences; (2) Inter-governmental organization: role and activities/experiences related to investigating specific mass mortalities of aquatic animals; (3) Producer and research/academic sectors: role and activities/experiences related to investigating specific mass mortalities of aquatic animalsand (4) Global Burden of Animal Diseases (GBAD). The meeting successfully achieved its objective of taking stock and sharing experiences and lessons learned which were used for generating recommendations for the further development and improvement of the draft FAO Decision-tree for dealing with aquatic animal mortality events and supporting guidance. The meeting generated an annotated table of contents for this decision-tree document with the following major sections, namely: Introduction; Phases in an Emergency; Elements of an Emergency Response (Preparedness Phase, Response Phase, Recovery Phase); Decision-tree for Mass Mortality Events; Conducting Field Investigation; Tools and Guidance; and Case Study Examples. It is expected that this document will be made available in 2021.
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    The Progressive Management Pathway for Aquaculture Biosecurity
    Guidelines for application
    2023
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    The PMP/AB refers to a pathway aimed at enhancing aquaculture biosecurity by building on existing frameworks, capacity and appropriate tools using risk-based approaches and public-private sector partnerships. It is expected to result in sustainable (i) reduction in burden of diseases; (ii) improvement of aquatic health and welfare at farm, national and regional levels; (iii) minimization of global spread of diseases; (iv) optimization of socio-economic benefits from aquaculture; (v) attraction of investment opportunities into aquaculture; and (vi) achievement of One Health goals. In the context of the PMP/AB, biosecurity refers to the cost-effective management of risks posed by pathogens to aquaculture through a strategic approach at the enterprise, local-sector, national and international levels with shared public-private responsibilities. This guidance document for PMP/AB application contains the rationale, vision, mission, scope, goals and benefits of the PMP/AB. The four stages of the PMP/AB are described in detail, including the overall objectives and key outcomes to complete each stage. It also presents a general stepwise process and recommended activities for completing the different stages. The PMP/AB checklist is divided into four broad categories, namely: Sectors and Stakeholders; Aquatic Health Services; Surveillance, Monitoring and Diagnostics; and Management and Evaluation.
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    A survey of national emergency preparedness and response (EPR) systems. FAO Project TCP/INT/3501: Strengthening biosecurity governance and capacities for dealing with the serious shrimp infectious myonecrosis virus (IMNV) disease 2018
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    As part of the FAO project Strengthening biosecurity governance and capacities for dealing with the serious shrimp infectious myonecrosis Strengthening biosecurity governance and capacities for dealing with the serious shrimp infectious myonecrosis virus (IMNV) disease, the FAO undertook a self-assessment questionnaire-based survey of the aquatic animal diseases emergency preparedness and response (EPR) systems of six participating countries, Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico (representing South/Central America) and China, Indonesia and Thailand (representing Asia), with a view to developing recommendations for improved performance. Current system strengths and weaknesses were identified by comparing each country’s EPR system elements against those elements needed for a comprehensive (ideal world) EPR system based on FAO and OIE publications (and the model used in Australia). The questionnaire covered three broad systems components: administration (e.g. resource allocation and legislation), operational components (including early warning, early detection and early response systems) and operational support systems (such as information management and communications systems). The questionnaire was structured into four sections: (1) general administration, (2) operational components, (3) support systems and (4) additional information. Section 1 (General Administration) contained questions aimed at generating information on the administrative structure and the scope of responsibilities of the Competent Authority on various elements (e.g. communication, risk analysis, contingency plan, personnel skills, etc.) that are essential when dealing with an aquatic emergency response. Section 2 (Aquatic EPR System Elements) contained questions on the priority system elements identified by the OIE; namely, early warning, early response and early detection systems. Section 3 (Support Systems) contained questions about broader supporting systems in relation to legislation, information management, communications and resourcing. Section 4 (Additional information) presented an opportunity for countries to provide any information or raise issues not adequately addressed in the questionnaire. The self-assessment survey provided insight into each country’s capabilities in terms of policies, procedures and institutional capabilities in place to detect the incursion of an emergency aquatic animal disease and to respond to that incursion by containing or eradicating the disease. Six key areas of need where EPR systems were not well developed included the following: stakeholder consultation, systems audit/review, simulation exercises, education/awareness building, documentation and dedicated resourcing. Analysis of the survey responses form the basis of 20 recommendations aimed at improving the administration and operation of national EPR systems with respect to early warning, early detection and early response to emergency aquatic animal disease incursions.  

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