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Know the enemy

Norway, Chile and Australia, Sandra Adams of the IoA told the SAIC meeting. ‘From the discussions, people felt that although there was a lot of work going on there was still a lot to be done,’ she said. ‘There was much discussion between the different countries to try to collaborate with each other and not duplicate efforts.’

The meeting was opened by Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, who said gill diseases were in need of solutions and encouraged the experts from across Scotland to apply for research funding. ‘We’re 40 per cent through our project finance so there’s plenty of money left in the pot. That money is there to help the industry to grow by working collaboratively with academic researchers.’ Such is the gravity of gill disease that two recent workshops on the subject had been held before SAIC’s, the first by the SSPO last spring, which was followed by a meeting at Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture (IoA) in June. Iain Berrill, giving an update on the SSPO gill workshop, said since AGD emerged in Scotland around 2011 the organisation had set up a database, collected weekly and circulated to members. It has also established ‘a very active’ health managers’ group, made up of senior health managers from the leading companies. Berrill said the heightened focus on gills had highlighted ‘health complexes’ and that is what innovation must target, rather than individual health challenges. Stirling’s fourth Gill Health Initiative had attracted 165 participants from Scotland, Ireland,

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A list of what needed to be done included standardisation of diagnostic and monitoring methods, linking environmental factors to gill problems, and the need for standardisation of treatments. And it was decided there was a need for the development of a platform for information exchange between both academia and industry and across industry itself; ‘I guess SAIC is providing part of that with this workshop today,’ said Adams. Hamish Rodger, presenting an overview of gill health, said it has a direct impact and an indirect impact in that people can’t manage and control sea lice and other parasites because of gill problems. He provided an update on the different types of gill disease, from AGD, which most companies know how to control, to Proliferative Gill Disease (PGD), gill disease caused by harmful algae and possibly by biofouling agents as well – something he said needed to be further investigated, and bleeding gill disease. Complex Gill Disease (CGD), the term the industry now uses when more than one gill disease is detected, can be a combination of AGD and PGD. Many cases that vets are dealing with on a regular basis have a CGD problem. Gill disease is ‘dynamic’, he said, changing all the time, and there are many knowledge gaps. We know a lot more about AGD and how to control it but there are gaps in our knowledge of PGD and CGD. Scientists have good molecular microbiology ‘tools’ at their disposal, but don’t necessarily know how to use them to effectively control disease outbreaks. We need to know why CGD is happening, and what the risk factors are; and pathogens need to be identified and isolated so vaccines can be developed, he said. We also need to know more about biofouling risks. ‘We’ve changed the way we clean nets in the

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16/01/2017 12:08:34

Profile for Fish Farmer Magazine

Fish Farmer Magazine january 2017  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977

Fish Farmer Magazine january 2017  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977

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