Bulletin - fish health event
July 20, 2016
RE: Fish Health Event Explanation and Content of Fish Health Event Notification
During the recent review of the proposed marine finfish licence conditions, DFO received feedback from the marine finfish aquaculture industry requesting further explanation of what constitutes a Fish Health Event (FHE). The current definition of a FHE in the licence conditions is: “Fish Health Event (FHE)” means a suspected or an active disease occurrence within an aquaculture facility that requires the involvement of a veterinarian and any measure that is intended to reduce or mitigate impact and risk associated with that occurrence or event.”. To this end we offer the following clarification.
FHEs do not include:
- routine brood stock management activities such as grading, sorting, vaccinating and mitigating vertically transmitted bacterial infections (by means of antibiotic injections); and
- routine fish health sampling and surveillance activities such as physical examination of individual live fish including sea lice, gill quality and condition factor assessments.
The Department does not interpret these routine activities as notifiable events; rather, they are considered minor activities essential to overall and ongoing health management. Therefore, in the cases listed above, section 4.5 of your licence conditions will not apply.
Section 4.5 of your licence states that should a FHE occur the licence holder must submit a notification to the Department not later than seven calendar days after the event. The notification is to be submitted by email to AQFF.FishHealth@dfo-mpo.gc.ca and must include the following information: company name, facility name, veterinary diagnosis and mitigative action. Where potential infectious causes are ruled-out and evidence for environmental cause are established, the event record should not be included in the quarterly Appendix V-B Mortality by Category report.
Please be advised that this bulletin is based on current information and subject to revision at the Department’s discretion and will be sent to Licence Holders if and when updated.
If you require further clarification please contact DFO aquaculture fish health veterinarian, Dr. Ian Keith, by telephone at 250 703-0917 or by email.
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