Development of sector-specific biosecurity plan templates and guidance documents for the abalone and oyster aquaculture industries
Department of Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA)
Although the abalone and oyster industries and relevant jurisdictions have implemented a range of measures to mitigate the risks of major diseases of concern (i.e. AVG, POMS), both industry sectors still lack a nationally consistent, agreed approach to biosecurity. An industry-wide biosecurity plan is a critical component of health accreditation programs to facilitate safe interjurisdictional and international trade in aquatic animals. Minimum biosecurity standards must meet importing jurisdiction or country requirements, so it is vital that these plans are recognised by state government authorities and implemented by industry. Note that for interstate trade, requirements generally outline that oyster or abalone livestock only be sourced from land-based facilities with high level (auditable) biosecurity. The abalone industry require movement of broodstock between farms to improve genetic family lines. A national Abalone Health Accreditation Program (developed by SCAAH) provides guidance for land-based abalone farms to demonstrate freedom of AVG for the purpose of trade. Biosecurity and surveillance requirements form the basis of the health accreditation program. A nationally agreed biosecurity plan (guidance document) specific to land-based abalone farms, which identifies specific disease risks and provides recommended systems to mitigate those (and potential emergent) risks, is now required to assist farmers in developing their own farm biosecurity plans. Similarly, for the oyster industry both biosecurity and surveillance are required to demonstrate freedom of POMS (and mitigation of potential other emergent biosecurity risks). This is particularly important for consideration of movement of hatchery reared spat (juveniles) from areas of known infection to areas not known to be affected by POMS. These two fundamental requirements (biosecurity and surveillance) are outlined in South Australia’s draft import protocols for spat sourced from oyster hatcheries. Nationally agreed guidelines for oyster hatchery biosecurity plans are now required to facilitate trade in oyster spat.
1. To develop an industry-endorsed, sector-specific biosecurity plan and relevant guidance documents for the Australian farmed abalone industry (land-based).
2. To develop an industry-endorsed, sector-specific biosecurity plan and relevant guidance documents for the Australian oyster industry (land-based).
This project developed industry endorsed biosecurity plans and guidance documents for the abalone farming industry (land based), and Oyster hatcheries. These documents provide industry with detailed guidance to develop a new, or improve existing, farm biosecurity plans and supporting documentation. Improving biosecurity practices represents a crucial step in ensuring a profitable, secure and resilient aquaculture industry.
Documented (and in some cases auditable) farm biosecurity plans are a common requirement of health accreditation programs and livestock translocation protocols. Consequently, these guidelines will facilitate industry to trade in livestock or as an independent business decision to protect the farm, industry and community from disease incursions. Depending on the enterprise’s individual business needs and cost benefit analysis, a farm may elect to adopt some or all of the best practice biosecurity recommendations outlined in the guidance documents.
Upon Animal Health Committee (AHC) endorsement these documents will become nationally agreed guidelines and form, not only an integral part of health accreditation and translocation protocols to assist in the safe translocation of oysters and abalone, but also a fundamental means of protecting the sectors from disease risks.
This project was led by Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) during late 2016 and 2017 in collaboration with co-investigators from other relevant state jurisdictions as well as industry peak bodies.