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The primary purpose of aquatic animal disease surveillance is to provide cost-effective information for assessing and managing risks associated with trade (intra- and international) in aquatic animals and products, animal production efficiency and public health. This statement of purpose is consistent with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Aquatic Animal Health Code and international perceptions of what disease surveillance is meant to achieve in both terrestrial and aquatic production systems. This document provides technical information and recommendations to the Competent Authorities of countries wishing to implement zonation to demonstrate that they have a “reliable system of disease control and surveillance” in place. However, the design and implementation of such systems under a wide range of aquatic situations has highlighted both technical and economic challenges for realistic and scientifically justifiable surveillance programmes. This is particularly complex for open-water marine environment zonation, but also poses problems for multijurisdictional freshwater and estuarine hydrographic areas. While recommending the establishment of zones for aquatic animal disease management, FAO and OIE recognize that most countries face significant challenges in the practical implementation of zonation. In addition to scientific capability, political will and economic support are required, and scientifically sound surveillance programmes are often costly investments. The economic benefits of such programmes have to be weighed against each country’s aquaculture activities - especially live animal movements - where like-to-like transfers form the basis of most disease risk assessments. Both the regulatory jurisdictions of governments involved in aquaculture development and the protection of wild aquatic resources must be taken into account to ensure optimum partnership (stakeholder) activities cover disease management in its broadest ecological sense. This document is a result of an Expert Consultation jointly organized by FAO, the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO-Canada) and OIE to determine what surveillance options can best support scientifically valid zonation frameworks.

Subasinghe, R.P.; McGladdery, S.E.; Hill, B.J. (eds.).
Surveillance and zoning for aquatic animal diseases.
FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 451. Rome, FAO. 2004. 73p.

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