Aquatic Animal Health Technical Forum

Project Number:



CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory

Principal Investigator:

Lynette Williams

Project Status:


FRDC Expenditure:



Environment, People


Aquaculture is expanding not only overseas but also in Australia and this has attracted a cadre of young scientists with little experience in aquatic animal health. Although not all “aquatic” techniques are unique there are some aspects that are specific to aquatic technical skills and procedures. In addition, some of these inexperienced scientists/technologists feel that they are on their own and are even intimidated to request assistance. In some instances they don’t know where to go or whom to ask for input or direction. The “aquatic animal heath” discipline involves a relatively small number of specialists that do not get the opportunity to convene at meetings/workshops/ conferences as often as those involved in the terrestrial animal health sphere. The forum activities will include; 1) the planning and hosting of annual training workshop 2) further development of the established email discussion group The forum would be open to all aquatic animal health specialists and industry personnel eg. fish farm staff who will be encouraged to register as a member of the forum. The forum will include annual workshops for participants with a variety of skills and levels of experience and who are resident at government laboratories, universities and colleges. This will build on the previous skills workshops that have been conducted in 2010 and 2011, which has assisted in the development of functional networks for the exchange of information and enhancement of the skills of the aquatic animal health service providers and on farm staff. In addition to developing a valuable national resource - a repository of technical knowledge – the forum provides mentoring to the new generation of laboratory technicians, students and staff at diagnostic laboratories, teaching institutions and aquaculture enterprises.


1. To further develop the email discussion group for the Aquatic animal health technical forum

2. To ensure the continuation of technical information transfer between forum members

3. To organise annual workshops at various institutes that provide specific aquatic animal health services.

4. To open the forum to international participation and thus enhancing the knowledge base of the forum members, for example exotic diseases.

5. To canvass State Departments for potential funding contributions to enable the continuation of the forum beyond 2015.

Final Report - 2012-002-DLD - Aquatic Animal Health Technical Forum

Final Report
Author(s):Lynette M Willliams
Date Published:May 2016

​Principle Investigator: Lynette M Williams

Key Words: Aquatic animal health; diagnostics; skills; technology transfer; training


The aquaculture industry has continued to expand attracting a cadre of young scientists, some with little experience in aquatic animal health. The Aquatic Animal Health Technical Forum (2013 to 2015) provided people working in the aquatic animal health field the opportunity to meet annually in a workshop environment,  participate in training, and to be part of a network for obtaining information and advice on technical matters concerning aquatic animal health. The workshops involved participants making presentations on current work projects and supported less experienced practitioners to gain experience from others in the aquatic field in laboratory methods. Three annual workshops were held at three locations in different States over the duration of the project and provided a wide variety of presentations in various disciplines and different opportunities for field trips to local aquaculture facilities. Participants included staff from aquatic animal health diagnostic laboratories, university laboratories as well as a number of aquaculture industry staff. Participant numbers varied between 23 and 32 over the three workshops.