Project Summary


Trans-boundary aquatic animal diseases are a major risk and an important constraint to the growth of aquaculture. Trans-boundary animal diseases are defined as epidemic diseases that are highly contagious or transmissible, with the potential for very rapid spread irrespective of national borders and which cause significant socio-economic and possibly public health consequences. Trans-boundary aquatic animal diseases such as shrimp white spot syndrome virus (WSSV), koi herpes virus (KHV) of koi and common carps, and multinucleate sphere X (MSX) disease of edible oysters are three of the most serious pathogens affecting the aquaculture sector. Careful examination of the history and spread of trans-boundary diseases indicate how irresponsible or ill-considered movements of live aquatic animals and their products can impact aquaculture and wild fisheries resources. In many cases, these impacts are a direct result of absence of national and regional disease management strategies or non-compliance by stakeholders to such strategies.

Asia is the leading aquaculture producing region while Europe is one of the leading seafood importing regions. There is significant trade between Asia and Europe in live aquatic animals and their products. However, with trade comes the risk of introduction and spread of pathogens. Various global and regional instruments and standards provide guidance to trading partners to minimize the risk of introduction and spread of dangerous aquatic animal pathogens. Developing operational strategies to effectively implement the guidelines is very important. In addition, addressing health risks at the point of origin is becoming increasingly important. Effective implementation requires considerable expertise and access to information. Varying levels of expertise and knowledge for addressing aquatic animal health issues exist both in Europe and Asia.

Europe and Asia have a long history of addressing aquatic animal health issues. The AqASEM expert workshop on disease and health management (Barcelona, 2004) brought together a selection of key players from both regions and from different sectors involved. The outcome from the Barcelona workshop was a set of recommendations for specific, high priority research topics for improvement of aquaculture animal health that would be of common interest to ASEM partners in Europe and Asia.

Recognizing the importance of networking and knowledge sharing, the present project builds on some of the key recommendations of the Barcelona expert workshop (need for a knowledge base on disease identification and control, training in aquatic animal health service, harmonise research) with the intention of building a strong partnership between Asia and Europe to work together on aquatic animal health issues of common interest and concern to both regions. 


Build partnerships between Asia and Europe to work together to improve cultured aquatic animal health and welfare and to address issues of major economic or environmental significance and concern to both regions including diagnosis, preventative measures and treatments.

Key Activities

  • Create a steering group with representatives from PANDA, Asia Regional Advisory Group on Aquatic Animal Health of NACA and FHS of AFS to address aquatic animal health issues of common interest to both regions,

  • Establish a formal mechanism that utilizes the networks and expertise in both the regions to implement identified actions

  • Develop a resource document providing details of existing networks and initiatives in both the regions and widely disseminate the information electronically

  • Facilitate regular sharing of network activities and outputs through a structured process (e.g. e-newsletter, discussion forums)

  • Facilitate utilization of expertise for development of joint research, training and development activities in both the regions


D5.1    Europe-Asia steering group on aquatic animal health established

D5.2    Formal mechanism for utilizing the networks and expertise established

D5.3    Resource document of aquatic animal health networks and initiatives in Europe and Asia published

D5.4    e-newsletter and active discussion forums

D5.5    Project facilitated joint research proposals

John Bostock,
Dec 15, 2010, 2:18 PM