Thursday , 20 June 2024

Healthy & wholesome aquaculture

The concept of healthy and wholesome aquaculture is an integral component in improving and sustaining aquaculture production to provide the protein needs of an escalating human population. Research and development efforts in aquaculture have resulted in phenomenal growth of the sector in the last four decades, but more problems need to be studied and solved to attain significant improvements and assure sustainability for future generations in the face of many challenges posed by ecological, economic, and climatic changes, among others, happening in our world today.

Program Description

The strategies invoked in this Program will concentrate on nutrition to promote healthy farmed aquatic animals; disease diagnosis, control, monitoring and surveillance of aquatic animals; and environmental integrity, certification, and food safety. The optimization and sustainability of aquaculture production shall be based on Best Management Practices and Good Aquaculture Practices (BMP and GAP) to ensure the least impact on the environment.


Program Goal

Improve aquaculture production through innovations in nutrition and feeding and fish health management in aquaculture and in maintaining the environmental integrity of aquaculture systems.



  1. find different sources of fish meal substitutes (with emphasis on periphyton-based protein sources) and develop effective feed management schemes that have the least impact to the aquatic environment;
  2. develop aquafeeds for selected species at specific growth stages especially where no artificial feed has been formulated;
  3. promote better understanding of the concept of feed conversion ratio (FCR), adequate nutrition and efficient feeding practices among fish farmers to promote fish health;
  4. investigate the efficacy of probiotics andrationalize the need and application of diagnostics that will ensure biosecurity within culture systems and keep out exotic pathogens, especially trans-boundary pathogens;
  5. promote the wider use of conventional diagnostic as well as new methods especially for newly reported, emerging diseases;
  6. find effective alternative safe drugs/chemicals (including natural products) to manage aquaculture diseases in lieu of harmful chemicals and drugs which have been discouraged or banned for use due to quality and safety issues;
  7. develop marker-assisted breeding programs to address disease issues;
  8. re-educate stakeholders and develop the capability of  fish health specialists on fish disease diagnosis using gross clinical examination and bacteriology, mycology, parasitology and histopathology techniques;
  9. enhance the stakeholders and fish health specialists’ understanding and interpretation of molecular diagnostic techniques and to develop healthy broodstock through pathogen exclusion; and
  10. promote group implementation of BMP/GAP and certification of small-scale farmers in the region and incorporate FAO Technical Guidelines to Aquaculture Certification into national aquaculture certification schemes and development of regional standards as well as promotion of global standard for responsible supply certification system


2012-2016  Targets

  • Efficient grow-out and broodstock feed for Pompano Trachinotus blochii developed
  • Efficient grow-out feed for abalone developed and verified
  • Grow-out culture of grouper in brackishwater ponds with practical feed demonstrated
  • In-situ training on nutrition, feed formulations, and on-farm feed preparation conducted and manual published
  • Feeding management for milkfish and other species improved
  • Bacillus spp. and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) applied as probiotics in larval rearing of Peneaus spp.
  • Causative agent for the two months mortality (Early Mortality Syndrome) syndrome in shrimp and prawn identified including ways to prevent or control disease occurrence/outbreak
  • Prevalence of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) and other viral pathogens in annelids known
  • Zoonotic bacteria and parasites from cultured and wild aquatic organisms  identified
  • Health status of wild shrimp stocks (primarily WSSV and other potential pathogens) updated
  • Immunostimulants for important marine species field-tested
  • Bacterial and viral vaccines for prevention of diseases in the grow out culture of fish and crustaceans developed
  • Fish health specialists from member countries trained on fish disease diagnostics (through Government of Japan Trust Fund)
Milkfish is one of the commodities important to Indonesia, Taiwan, Philippines and in some parts of Thailand. The milkfish industry has played a key role in supporting food security in several countries in the region
AQD will revisit priority areas on disease control, food safety and environmental integrity (Top) Grouper infected with VNN, (bottom)vaccination trial grouper
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