Introduced or transferred aquatic organisms which are placed in quarantine are, by definition, a potential health risk. The aim of quarantine is to establish that they are either free of prescribed pathogens and pests or if not, that their progeny may be acceptable if they are proven pathogen- and pest-free. Because aquatic organisms may covertly carry pathogens without showing overt sings of clinical disease, they must in most cases be held in quarantine for life and be subject to repeated tests to establish their pathogen-free status. If they are established as pathogen-free, the F1 generation may be released. If the FO generation is not pathogen- and pest-free and they are not destroyed but kept for breeding, then it may be necessary to quarantine the F1 generation for life, demonstrate the F1 generation is free from pathogens and pests and then use the F2 generation for release.
3.4.1 Introductions, whether as gametes or fertilized eggs for fish (preferred) or as some other stage for molluscs or marine plants, should be disinfected upon arrival at the quarantine unit (even though an approval certificate is supplied). If young fish are being imported, they should be treated by prophylactic bath. As stated under inspection and certification procedures, all materials in contact with the import during shipment should be destroyed or sterilized and not allowed to enter the holding system area of the quarantine unit.
Acclimation of eggs, larvae, adult organisms etc., to environmental conditions, such as temperature at the quarantine station, should be done in a manner which prevents, as far as possible, any contact between transport and final holding media.
3.4.2 It is recommended that intake waters be sterilized or disinfected. Sterilization means killing all life forms in the water supply. Disinfection means using techniques which will kill all the prescribed pathogens. Spring, ground, artesian, and well waters which have no flora or fauna in them prior to entry to the quarantine unit are best and require no treatment. If surface waters are used, there is a risk that native pathogens and pests may cause disease outbreaks in the quarantine unit causing consequent difficulties in deciding whether the pathogen is native to the water supply or was imported with the introduction.
3.4.3 The quality of water used in the quarantine unit should be monitored at regular intervals to ensure that any mortality in the quarantine population is not due to environmental conditions but rather to disease agents.
3.4.4 The cause of mortality in all animals in quarantine should be investigated and a written report should be prepared. All reports must be submitted to the regulatory authority who may undertake further investigations.
3.4.5 Disposal of solid wastes (faeces, surplus food, settled solids) and dead organisms must be conducted by an approved method, e.g., sterilized such that potential pathogens and pests cannot escape the quarantine unit by this route.
3.4.6 When recirculation of water is practised, both assessment and control of water quality must be carried out.
3.4.7 Records of operating conditions and procedures must be kept and made available for inspection by the regulatory authority on request.
3.4.8 If more than one stock (or species) is kept in the quarantine unit each must be kept in a self-contained compartment and precautionary measures instituted to ensure that staff cannot cause transmission of pathogens or pests between different stocks.
3.4.9 No equipment should enter or leave the quarantine unit without disinfection. If several species or stocks are kept in quarantine in separated modules, separate equipment must be available for each group.
3.4.10 Personnel operating the quarantine unit must be supervised by staff qualified to ensure all biological and operating concerns are appropriately addressed.
3.4.11 Personnel should enter and leave a quarantine unit through a disinfection station (footbath, showers) which should be regularly serviced to guarantee continued effectiveness.
3.4.12 Personnel operating a quarantine unit should not visit other aquaculture establishments on the same day.
3.4.13 The quarantine station should have adjacent, but physically isolated, laboratory facilities for inspection and preparation of material for pathology tests. Physical separation from the quarantine unit should help prevent accidental contact with quarantined species.
3.4.14 Should outbreaks of disease or pests occur while a species is in quarantine, a range of common treatment procedures should be immediately available. However, while these procedures may be successful in killing specific pathogens or removing specific parasites, they should not be viewed as an effective means of destroying all organisms carried by introduced species.
3.4.15 Should the quarantine unit suffer a disease outbreak that cannot be controlled, the diseased stocks must be destroyed and disposed of after sterilization in an approved manner, but not before notification of the appropriate government authority. The quarantine unit or particular module (including the biological filters if recycling system is used) must be disinfected prior to its reuse. It is advisable to operate dual systems to facilitate shutdown and sterilization procedures.
3.4.16 The design of the quarantine unit should minimize any risk that:
For purposes of this document, pathology is defined as, “the study of disease by scientific methods” (ICES Working Group on Pathology and Diseases of Marine Organisms). The objective of identifying diseases and parasites is to minimize or eliminate the introduction and distribution of organisms pathogenic to both native