Australian governments and agri-food industries are placing greater emphasis on marketing Australia as a supplier of high quality fresh produce. It is important that these “clean food” activities are underpinned by appropriate mechanisms that ensure the integrity of Australian product. Residue detection and any associated food safety issues will continue to attract considerable public interest. The challenge for the aquaculture industry, governments and regulatory authorities is to develop strategies that combine efficient production methods without detrimental effects to food products, the environment, the safety of target animals, and the safety of persons who administer the compounds.
The National Strategy on Aquaculture in Australia (1994), developed in cooperation with industry by the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments sets the strategic framework for future aquaculture development. The strategy identified chemical registration in the aquaculture industry as a priority issue. Consequently in 1995, the Aquaculture Committee (AC) operating under the auspices of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (SCFA) established a National Taskforce (The Taskforce) comprising industry and government representatives to address the issue.
Based on the results of an extensive industry survey of drug and chemical usage in the Australian aquaculture industry conducted in 1995, this project has undertaken an assessment of the most appropriate drugs and chemicals and their use patterns for each sector of the industry.
This project has also developed and tested a cost-effective and efficient process in conjunction with NRA for attaining a legal basis for drug or chemical usage by the Australian aquaculture industry. This process is based on usual NRA requirements, but enables the legal use of appropriate chemicals where detailed information is not available.