Disease surveillance is an essential component of any aquaculture industry. Surveillance is required for early detection of new or introduced diseases, to demonstrate freedom from certain pathogens to support trade or to monitor and respond to changes in disease prevalence in a population.
However, surveillance is a specialised science and design of surveillance programs depends on the specific purpose of the surveillance and what it is expected to achieve. Inappropriate surveillance design risks either wasted resources (doing more than is necessary) or failure to achieve objectives due to poor design, inappropriate methods or inadequate sample size.
Effective surveillance is also a critical element to support trade, particularly where disease status can be used as a non-tariff barrier to trade. Understanding the principles of surveillance program design and implementation will ensure that government agencies are equipped with high quality information to support claims to freedom from diseases of trade importance, where this is appropriate or necessary.
Aquatic animal health advisors have a broad responsibility, including implementation of surveillance programs. This course will address that need by providing guidance on the design and implementation of surveillance programs for a variety of purposes and at both farm and industry level in aquatic animal industries. This will enable stakeholders and investors to have confidence that surveillance is meeting the desired objectives and supporting the industry in producing a safe and sustainable and disease free product for domestic and international markets.