Project number: 2019-088
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $25,000.00
Principal Investigator: Shane D. Roberts
Organisation: University of Adelaide
Project start/end date: 1 Oct 2019 - 29 Jun 2020


The sea-cage aquaculture industry (tuna, kingfish and cobia) currently does not have a set of nationally consistent biosecurity guidelines and templates to assist farmers with the development of their on-farm biosecurity plans. The development of a sector-specific national biosecurity plan for the sea-cage aquaculture industry would ensure a common level of biosecurity risk management to support specific enterprise and whole of industry productivity. Biosecurity plans underpin disease prevention, preparedness and rapid emergency response to secure and future proof the industry.
An industry-wide biosecurity plan is a crucial component of health accreditation programs to facilitate inter-state and international trade in aquatic animals. Any health accreditation program of minimum biosecurity standard must meet the importing jurisdiction or countries requirements, so it is vital that these plans are recognised by state government authorities and implemented by industry.
Furthermore, many jurisdictions now require (or will require) those applying for a new aquaculture permit to develop an aquaculture biosecurity plan as part of the application process. Also, work is underway to develop industry-government emergency aquatic animal disease response arrangements which would require industry biosecurity plans.


1. Development of an industry endorsed, national sector-specific biosecurity plan guideline and template for the Australian sea-cage aquaculture industry (includes tuna, kingfish and cobia).

Final report

ISBN: 978-1-876007-31-7
Authors: Shane Roberts Matthew Bansemer Matt Landos
Final Report • 2020-06-01 • 3.99 MB


In this project, we developed guidelines to provide the Australian sea-cage finfish (non-salmonid) industry with the tools and templates to create an auditable farm biosecurity plan. Consideration was given to the current farming of yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi), southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) and cobia (Rachycentron canadum). There were two components to this project. Firstly, an industry-government workshop was held on the 7 November 2019 in Adelaide. Attendees included representatives from the sea-cage finfish industry (peak body industry representatives, farm managers, hatchery representatives) and relevant state government representatives across Australia. Attendees discussed disease risks for sea-cage finfish farms, existing biosecurity guidelines, policy, risk assessments, and the appropriate content of a sea-cage finfish (non-salmonid) biosecurity plan. Based on these discussion, attendees workshopped best practice and practical biosecurity management for sea-cage finfish (non-salmonid) farms.
The second component of the project was to develop biosecurity plan guideline and template for the sea-cage finfish (non-salmonid) industry of Australia. These guidelines are based on information from the industry workshop and related reference material. In these guidelines, we highlight the potential routes for disease transmission, including disease spread onto, with-in and off of the farm to facilitate associated risk assessments for disease transmission. Risk pathways and associated mitigation processes identified in the workshop, included water, animals, equipment, vessels, vehicles, feed and people. These pathways were included in the biosecurity plan guidelines. In addition, templates for suggested supporting documents are also provided in the guideline to develop a comprehensive plan.

Related research


Assessing egg oiling as a long term management tool for overabundant Silver Gull populations interacting with Southern Bluefin Tuna aquaculture operations

1. Undertake a review and Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) of over-abundant seabird population management strategies. This will be a project Stop/Go point to assess whether egg oiling provides the best management option for Silver Gull population control, and will determine whether the project proceeds...
University of Adelaide