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29th Conference of the OIE Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania

Improving the management of emerging aquatic animal diseases is critical for the countries of Asia, the Far-East and Oceania

The emergence of new aquatic animal diseases has been a feature of the world’s rapidly growing aquaculture industry in recent decades, with some resulting in panzootics and very significant economic and environmental impacts.

The 36 Member Countries within the OIE Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania comprise several of the world’s top 10 aquaculture producers and provide 90%1  of global aquaculture production volume.

More than 40%2  of these countries have experienced aquatic animal diseases, mostly emerging diseases, in the past 10 years that have had a significant impact on production, trade or the environment and therefore consider essential to determine how these diseases can be best managed to mitigate their impacts and prevent transboundary spread.


It was highlighted during the conference that the most important factors for their successful response to emerging diseases were, among others, early detection and rapid response to the outbreaks. To this aim, improving transparency regarding disease notification in the region and sharing epidemiological information are essential.

Although most countries in the region have appropriate prevention and preparedness arrangements for emerging diseases, the discussions hold during the 29th Conference of the OIE’s Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania enabled to determine some gaps, which could be the subject of capacity building efforts, supported by the OIE through the aquatic component of the OIE PVS Pathway.

Responsibilities for managing aquatic animal health are often shared between Veterinary Authorities and aquaculture or fisheries authorities, and role distribution is not always easy. In this framework, "improved cooperation between the Veterinary Authority and Aquatic Animal Health Services is highly needed for better management of aquatic animal diseases, including emerging diseases. This is the necessary basis for effective prevention, preparedness and response to emerging aquatic animal diseases through improving transparency, early detection, early response, and better control of these diseases” concluded Dr Bernard Vallat. The need for improved cooperation is reflected in the Regional Commission Regional Work Plan Framework 2016-2020, adopted during the Conference, which aims to address cooperation between veterinary and aquatic animal health services.

On a larger scale, the OIE is committed to facilitate early regional cooperation for emerging diseases, particularly where impacts are significant and transboundary spread is likely.



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[1] Source: FAO, 2015.

[2] Source : Questionnaire sent to the OIE Member Countries within the OIE Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania prior to the Conference, 2015.

 

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