Project number: 2008-039
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $334,478.00
Principal Investigator: Mark S. Crane
Organisation: CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory
Project start/end date: 30 Jun 2008 - 30 Apr 2012


Australia’s aquatic animal sector is free from many diseases that occur elsewhere in the world, providing us with a competitive advantage in both production and trade. This is one reason why the number of aquatic animal species and the absolute number of aquatic animals farmed in Australia is increasing annually. However, new/emerging infectious diseases continue to threaten the sustainability of significant enterprises and the need for health services to support the aquatic animal sector is growing. Health R&D is required for all segments of the aquatic animal sector (aquaculture, wild-capture, recreational and ornamental) that share the aquatic environment, interacting with and impinging on each other. Thus aquatic animal health services need to be coordinated across these segments to ensure synergy while avoiding duplication.

Aquatic animal health management includes a risk-based approach to disease prevention, as well as reacting to, and mitigating the affects of, existing diseases. Research of this type is often given a low priority as it is not seen as an immediate need. To overcome this deficiency there is a need for a process that takes a national and future view of investment in aquatic animal health. AAHS, through leadership, direction and focus, provides a national approach to aquatic animal health R&D and other related non-R&D activities. Through the Subprogram’s Committee membership, AAHS has linkages to NAAHTWG, AAHC, NAC, DAFF, industry, State Governments and universities. Thus, AAHS provides an industry/government-based structure through which to develop and maintain strategic direction for investment in aquatic animal health. FRDC, through AAHS, plays a major role in addressing research and training needs in the aquatic animal health sector. AAHS is able to direct this support to the most pressing areas. Thus continuation of AAHS on the basis of a shared financial commitment by stakeholders from industry and governments is highly desirable.


1. To administer and co-ordinate the activities of the AAHS
2. To manage a portfolio of R&D projects that are directly concerned with aquatic animal health and are not covered by other FRDC subprograms
3. To facilitate meetings of the AAHS Steering and Scientific Advisory Committees.
4. In consultation with key stakeholders (industry and aquatic animal health specialists) develop strategic directions for aquatic animal health R&D
5. To disseminate information and results through: a) A biennial scientific conference
b) specialist workshops on topics identified through AAHS business c) Health Highlights Newsletter
d) relevant articles in FRDC News FISH and e) the FRDC website

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-643-10899-8
Author: Mark Crane

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