An assessment of biosecurity utilization in the ...

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Title An assessment of biosecurity utilization in the recirculation sector of finfish aquaculture in the United States and Canada
Author(s) J. Delabbio, B. R. Murphy, Gerald R. Johnson, S. L. McMullin
Journal Aquaculture
Date 2004
Volume 242
Issue 1-4
Start page 165
End page 179
Abstract This paper provides the first empirical characterization of biosecurity utilization in finfish aquaculture. In fall 2001, a questionnaire survey was mailed to managers of finfish-rearing recirculation facilities in the United States and Canada to obtain baseline data on the frequency of use of 11 different biosecurity measures. The response rate to the survey was 86%. Of the 139 respondents, 71% were from the United States (n=93) and 29% were from Canada (n=38).Our data show that biosecurity utilization is not homogenous within the finfish recirculation sector of the United States and Canada. Overall, inexpensive and low-tech biosecurity practices were utilized the most. The most frequently practiced biosecurity measures were record-keeping (94%) and dead fish collection (93%). Present use of vaccines (17%) was less than past use of vaccines (30%). Sixty-six percent of facilities reported prophylactic use of chemicals on fish while 81% reported therapeutic use (chemical treatments included the use of salt). Quarantine procedures on incoming fish and/or eggs were commonly employed in recirculation facilities, with use of an isolation area occurring more frequently (83%) than use of an isolated water supply (66%). Seventy-five percent of surveyed facilities have employed the services of a fish health specialist with the majority of facilities using a specialist in the previous 8 months.Biosecurity practices were found to be statistically related (P<0.05) to primary water source, type of fish grown, purpose of the operation and country of operation. Within the recirculation sector, biosecurity utilization was most prevalent at facilities growing Atlantic salmon. Site manager's age and level of education did not show any statistical correlation with biosecurity utilization. The number of years of work experience the manager had in aquaculture was found to be significantly associated with present vaccine use (P=0.011), past vaccine use (P=0.005) and use of fish health specialists (P=0.013).The study lays the foundation for further research on biosecurity utilization in aquaculture and provides insight into factors that influence frequency of use of biosecurity. The findings of this study provide an important first step in improving biosecurity use given that the development of effective remedial and intervention strategies require a valid assessment of the current situation.
DOI 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2004.03.005

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