In October 2014 Animal Health Australia (AHA) commenced management of a new, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources funded, four year project dedicated to the development of a formal industry-government aquatic emergency animal disease response agreement (the Aquatic Deed).
While Australia has long-standing joint industry-government arrangements in place for responses to livestock emergency diseases and emergency plant pests and diseases, until now, there’s been nothing formally in place for responding to emergency disease outbreaks affecting aquatic animals and the industries that rely on them.
Together, aquaculture and fisheries industries and governments are working to prevent diseases affecting aquatic animals and respond more effectively when outbreaks occur. The Aquatic Deed is a key component of this work and a draft for discussion amongst potential signatories is largely complete.
Aquatic Deed Working Group
An Aquatic Deed Working Group has been formed to help guide the work. Representatives from all major aquaculture and wild capture industry sectors – tuna, abalone, salmon, prawns, edible oysters, pearl oysters, barramundi, and aquarium industries, together with Government representatives participate in the working group and provide advice on seeking solutions to some circumstances unique to aquatic industries and the environments in which they operate.
Due to AHA’s extensive background, experience and investment in emergency animal disease preparedness and response, biosecurity and training government and industry stakeholders have confirmed AHA as the custodian of the Aquatic Deed. Thus, before becoming a signatory to the Aquatic Deed, industry peak bodies and governments must become funding members of AHA. Services to be provided by AHA include – maintenance of the Aquatic Deed, training, including response capacity and capability, and communications and engagement. Further information can be found at the ‘Aquatic Deed Custodianship’ Fact Sheet .
The Aquatic Deed Working Group regularly produces information and updates for stakeholders:
- EAD Response Agreement
- Abalone Council of Australia
- Australian Abalone Growers Association
- Australian Barramundi Farmers Association
- Australian Bluefin Tuna Industry Association
- Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries
- Australian Prawn Farmers Association
- Oysters Australia
- Pearl Producers of Australia
- Pet Industry Association of Australia
- Seafood Industry Australia
- Seafood Industry Victoria
- Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association