Significant losses of farmed barramundi have occurred in coastal marine aquaculture sites utilising marine water sources due to Cryptocaryon irritans infestations. The disease costs have had substantial impacts on commercial aquaculture operations. Cryptocaryon irritans has a direct life cycle with an adult in the skin or gills of the fish and asexual reproduction in the environment away from the fish. The life cycle of C. irritans is temperature and host dependant and treatment must be timed with critical phases of the life history to maximise efficacy. This project will establish this timing to provide guidelines for optimised treatment.
The existing treatments have substantial costs ($3K+/treatment) and a sub-optimal profile for environmental release with high toxicity and environmental persistence. This project will optimise doses of existing treatments, and identify and assess new treatments. Products identified as effective and safe will have optimised guidelines developed for delivery to ensure the best outcome for farms and the environment. Such improvements will support further expansion of the finfish aquaculture industry in Northern Australia.