Biosecurity

The movement of fish, invertebrates and plants across international frontiers and within countries between fish farmers, collectors, wholesalers and retailers is essential for our industry.  The fish and plants we move intentionally may also carry viruses, bacteria and larger organisms such as fungi, nematodes and crustacea.  History has shown that most of these are apparently harmless.

Many ornamental fish are kept in closed systems and so problems are contained and pose negligible risks outside those systems.

However, recent history has shown that some of these hitch-hikers, albeit rarely, can cause serious diseases, for example the impact KHV had on the UK Koi market.( click to read Koi Herpes Virus documentation – (pdf)).

OATA has produced a dedicated document addressing Biosecurity and has been written primarily to help all contributors to the industry make informed decisions on where to buy fish and how their management of those purchases can minimise the chances of either receiving or passing on disease or health problems. Click here to download Biosecurity document – (pdf).

Calculate Your Risk

To gain an overview of the impact biosecurity measures can have in reducing your disease risk, OATA has produced a unique Biosecurity Risk Calculator.  This model is based upon the transfer rates, infection rates and biosecurity measures implemented.

Three pieces of data are required:

  1. How many sites the fish visit before entering your premises.
  2. The infection rate of the disease in which you are interested.  This can be estimated, for example: if you notice a disease such as white spot within your stock, estimate the percentage of stock which shows signs of infection over a day.  This needs to be a value between 0-100%.
  3. Estimate the amount of effort put into biosecurity.  Be honest, it is unlikely that your premises will be 100% biosecure, but even small measures can help to greatly reduce infection.  This is also a value between 0-100%.

Once you have these three values, simply enter them into the calculator to find out the probability of infection on your premises.

Click here to access OATA’s Biosecurity Calculator