CHARLES TOWN, WV - The first meeting of the Aquatic Animal
Health Policy Development Committee was held November 16-17 in Denver,
Established by the National Association of State Aquaculture
Coordinators (NASAC) and the National Aquaculture Association (NAA), the
committee's objective was well-defined in the development of a mission
statement --- "Develop and promote a coherent national aquatic animal
health management program that well serves commercial aquaculture
The diversity of aquaculture was clearly shown by the variety of
concerns expressed during the committee meeting. Chaired by Dr. Randy
MacMillan of Clear Springs Foods, Inc., the committee is comprised of
Dr. Bob Busch, Salmonid Breeders Association; Dr. Bob Goetz, Striped Bass
Growers Association; Dr. Don Lightner, University of Arizona; Dr. Myron
Kebus, Wisconsin Aquatic Veterinary Service; Roscoe Perham, AquaFuture
Inc.; Dr. Roxanne Smolowitz, University of Pennsylvania; Dr. David Wise,
Mississippi State University; and Dr. Roy Yanong, University of
"Ensuring the presence of a strong and reliable fish health program
will be necessary in future years to establish and maintain both domestic
and international trade," said Dr. MacMillan. "However, the diversity of
aquaculture industries in the United States makes a one-size-fits all
approach untenable for fish health management. The services needed for
ornamental fish destined for the aquarium trade is very different from
that of catfish or trout to be eaten domestically. Similarly, broodfish
require different consideration than foodfish of the same species."
To focus and clarify the efforts of the committee, a strategy plan
was developed during the meeting. Steps toward program development are as
1. Maximize species group input through extensive information
dissemination and feedback through committee members.
2. Review existing programs and define aquaculture needs.
3. Define specific federal or state actions needed to meet aquaculture industry needs.
4. Obtain consensus of major aquacultural organizations regarding government service or regulatory needs.
5. Develop strategy for national program implementation.
6. Execute strategy.
The Denver meeting was coordinated by NASAC members Tom Ellis
of North Carolina and Jim Rubingh of Colorado. The committee is scheduled
to reconvene in February at the Aquaculture `98 Conference in Las Vegas.
The focus of the meeting will be to review OIE and APHIS programs and to
establish a time line for various committee actions.