Aquatic Animals Commission

Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission


The Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission (the Aquatic Animals Commission) is responsible for ensuring that the Aquatic Animal Health Code (the Aquatic Code) and Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals (the Aquatic Manual) reflect current scientific information. The Aquatic Code and Aquatic Manual provide standards for the improvement of aquatic animal health worldwide, including standards for safe international trade in aquatic animals (amphibians, crustaceans, molluscs and fish) and their products.

The Aquatic Animals Commission, which comprises six elected members, who are internationally renowned experts in the prevention and control of pathogenic agents of aquatic animals, meets twice yearly to address its work programme. It works with internationally renowned specialists to draft texts for new articles of the Aquatic Code and Aquatic Manual and to revise existing articles in light of advances in science. The Commission also collaborates closely with the Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission on issues requiring a harmonised approach.

The views of the Delegates of Member Countries are routinely sought through the circulation of draft and revised texts and, at each General Session, the Delegates discuss and formally adopt the draft texts as OIE standards. These texts are then incorporated into the next editions of the Aquatic Code and Aquatic Manual.

Members of the Commission are elected by the World Assembly of Delegates for a period of three years

Terms of Reference

Taking into account the periodic Strategic Plans adopted by the Assembly, pertinent Resolutions of the Assembly and the annual work plans approved by the Assembly, the terms of reference of the OIE Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission shall be:

1.    To promote the adoption by the Assembly of standards, recommendations and guidelines  for animal health (including zoonoses), the prevention and control methods of listed diseases, animal welfare and animal production food safety concerning the trade and international movement of aquatic animals and their products. Such standards, guidelines and recommendations are designed to minimise the risks of transmitting diseases (including zoonoses) while avoiding unjustified sanitary barriers.

2.    To promote the dissemination among Veterinary and other Competent Authorities of information on aquatic animal diseases. For this purpose, standards and guidelines are also provided in the Aquatic Animal Health Code and Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals (the Aquatic Manual).

3.    To keep the Assembly and the Director General informed of scientific progress on methods for surveillance, diagnosis and disease prevention likely to improve the prevention and the control of aquatic animal diseases, and to formulate proposals for updating the Aquatic Code and the Aquatic Manual.

4.    To develop in collaboration with other OIE Specialist Commissions and with relevant experts:

a.    generic chapters in the Aquatic Code which address general topics such as quality and evaluation of aquatic animal health services including veterinary services, certification, regionalisation, risk analysis methodology, antimicrobial resistance and which are in harmony with similar recommendations in the Terrestrial Code

b.    disease-specific chapters and appendices in the Aquatic Code and the Aquatic Manual which are maintained current with the latest scientific information, and which provide clear guidance to users on aquatic animal diseases control in the OIE-listed diseases and on laboratory diagnostic methods.

5.    To identify issues that require in-depth review and propose, to the  Director General, the composition and terms of reference of experts or Ad hoc Groups of experts convened specifically to study such issues, and if necessary, to participate in the work of these Groups.

6.    To advise the Director General on issues relevant to its work arising or being discussed in other international organisations or fora.

7.    To reply to all relevant queries made by the Director General, the Assembly or other OIE Commissions.

8.    To examine applications from Member Countries relating to the creation of new OIE Reference Centres with activities corresponding to the Commission’s scientific terms of reference and report its findings to the Director General.

9.    To advise the Director General on the status of the lists of the OIE experts and Reference Centres.

10.  To provide, on request of the Director General, technical advice on proposals for the twinning of Reference Centres under Cooperative Capacity Building (“Twinning”) Agreements.

11.  To facilitate, and work with, Reference Centres in the field of aquatic animal health, so as to achieve OIE’s mandate.

12.  To represent the OIE at scientific and specialised conferences upon the request of the Director General.

Qualifications of the members

Article 1

The members of the Commission shall be internationally recognised specialists in surveillance, diagnosis and prevention of infectious diseases and pathogens of aquatic animals.

Article 2

The members of the Commission shall have extensive international experience, at the regional or global level, of surveillance, diagnosis, control and disease prevention methods of pathogens and diseases of aquatic animals.

Dr Ingo Ernst
Director, Aquatic Pest and Health Policy
Animal Division Australian Government
Department of Agriculture and water resources
GPO Box 858 Canberra ACT 2601
[email protected]
Dr Alicia Gallardo Lagno
Undersecretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture
Subsecretaría de Pesca y Acuicultura, SUBPESCA
Bellavista 168, piso 16
[email protected]  
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is f9eff265-2834-445d-8c82-85ff96bf4b9d-850x1024.jpgDr Fiona Geoghegan
Legislative Officer
European Commission
8 Churchfields Coosan
N37E183 Athlone
[email protected]
Dr Kevin William Christison
Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries
Directorate: Aquaculture Research and Development
Private Bag X 2V
Vlaeberg, 8018
[email protected]
Dr Prof. Hong Liu
Deputy Director
Animal and Plant Inspection and Quarantine Technical Center
Shenzhen Customs District
General Administration of Customs,
1011 building of Fuqiang Road
Futianqu, Shenzhen City, Guangdong province
CHINA (People’s Rep of)
[email protected]
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is picture-er-1-150x150.jpgProf Espen Rimstad
Professor in virology
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Department of Paraclinical Sciences (PARAFAG)
Campus Ås
Universitetstunet 3, 1430 Ås
[email protected]
Technical disease cards
Diseases of fish

Tilapia lake virus (TiLV)

Diseases of crustaceans

Infection with Decapod iridescent virus 1 (DIV1).

 Contact Commission.