Aquaculture is recognised as the fastest growing food animal producing sector in the world with nearly 50 per cent of the global supply of aquatic animals for human consumption now derived from aquaculture.
However, aquatic animal disease outbreaks continue to cause significant losses in aquaculture production throughout the world and are having a major detrimental impact on national economies in some countries and regions.
These disease outbreaks threaten to limit this rapidly expanding sector unless the governance of Veterinary Services and Aquatic Animal Health Services is strengthened and effective aquatic animal health policies and programmes complying with OIE standards are implemented to prevent or control these disease outbreaks.
A very high proportion of aquatic animal production is traded internationally, accounting for 10 per cent of total global agricultural exports. Twice as much seafood (fisheries and aquaculture) is traded internationally compared to terrestrial animal meat products (beef, poultry, sheep and pig meat).
Because of the rapid growth in aquaculture worldwide and the disease risks associated with the increasingly globalised trade in live aquatic animals and their products, OIE activities in the field of aquatic animal health and standards for the sanitary safety of global trade are important and relevant to all regions of the world.
Effective implementation of OIE standards will contribute to ensuring a sustainable sector that can provide a key source of high quality animal protein for the growing human population.
For over 50 years the mandate of the OIE has included aquatic animals. The OIE constantly encourages Members to meet their OIE membership obligations, and to implement the OIE standards for disease prevention and control, and trade in aquatic animals in line with the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.
Veterinary and Aquatic Animal Health Services capacity to implement OIE standards is essential to safeguard aquatic animal health and facilitate trade. However, with most aquaculture production originating in developing and emerging countries, there is also an on-going need to build capacity to support implementation of the international standards by all OIE Members.
The OIE is grateful for the support of the Government of Vietnam, notably the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development who will generously host this conference.
This major international conference will highlight the critical contribution of aquatic animal health programmes to improving aquaculture productivity and sustainability, and consequently the availability of high quality protein and other food, particularly to people in developing countries.
The conference will help to raise awareness of the need for good governance of Veterinary Services and Aquatic Animal Health Services (both governmental and private sector), and the involvement of veterinarians, aquatic animal health professionals, and other partners in assuring the production of aquaculture products that are safe for human consumption and appropriately certified to meet international trade requirements.
The conference will address the role and responsibilities of key players in the production chain, including producers, food processors, private veterinarians and aquatic animal health professionals, and the importance of effective working relationships between these players, the official Veterinary Services and, as appropriate, Aquatic Animal Health Services.
The Conference will feature presentations from speakers representing national Veterinary Services and Aquatic Animal Health Services, other relevant Competent Authorities, international organisations, industry, and aquatic animal health experts. Participants will be invited to share their experiences and to identify future needs and priorities for the OIE to address in order to minimise the burden of diseases in global aquatic animal production for Member Countries.
The conference will take place over two and a half days and will include ministerial statements, keynote addresses, technical presentations and discussions, from which participants will agree conference recommendations for both Member Countries and OIE to improve global aquatic animal health.
Simultaneous interpretation in English/French/Spanish will be provided for all plenary sessions.
More information on the conference can be found here.