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Regional Strategy on Aquatic Biosecurity

INTRODUCTION

Aquaculture is currently the fastest growing food producing sector in the world and for two decades now; it contributes to nearly 50 percent of the global food fish supply. Taking into consideration the increasing global population, aquaculture is expected to contribute further to meet the increasing demand for fish in the coming decades. As an example, annual value of global seafood industry is about USD 100 billion.

Furthermore, the world’s demands for high quality aquaculture products make control of biological risks, including diseases and pathogens which could affect human, animal and plant communities increasingly important. Good Biosecurity measures are vital to maintaining healthy animals, to reducing the risk of acquiring diseases in aquaculture facilities and to harvest high quality good yield. Aquatic biosecurity could be described as a system of standardized protocols and measures to deal with biological risks in aquatic environments (such as the risk of diseases, genetic pollution and invasive species). Regarding the Pacific region, the main aims of aquatic biosecurity are to safeguard human health, the environment, and national economies. Good biosecurity requires a holistic and an extremely proactive approach between nations and territories. The Pacific region, with many comparative advantages regarding fisheries and aquaculture, but at the same time, with highly unique, bio-diverse and sensible aquatic environments, needs the establishment of a regional framework on biosecurity, which will support Nations to develop their economies in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.

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