Improved fish health management for integrated inland aquaculture through Better Management Practices for Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii)
AuthorCohen, Shari Melissa
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
Access StatusThis item is currently not available from this repository
© 2015 Shari Melissa Cohen
Murray cod aquaculture is a developing industry in inland Australia. Much of the existing industry is currently integrated into existing horticulture enterprises, and there is enormous potential for farming of Murray cod in agricultural dams. The use of better management practices and biosecurity controls are critical to profitable production in these systems. However the range of health issues affecting productivity in Murray cod aquaculture was previously unknown. This project identified and described many of these issues including the lack of control over water quality and supply in integrated agriculture aquaculture systems (IAAS), along with an overall deficit of knowledge about the general production diseases and management practices in this industry. For this project, on-farm monitoring and sampling was used to investigate which diseases were present in the industry along with several potentially associated key managerial and environmental variables. By using these techniques it was found that parasites, especially Chilodonella species, were commonly found primarily in the warmer months (spring and summer). Several new diseases were also documented although their production limiting effects were mostly unknown with the exception of Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS). Through the use of a disease surveillance program, pathology, histopathology, epidemiology and farm records several better fish health management practices were identified that were thought to be key in improving fish health, welfare and productivity. These practices included the use of better communication between farmers, their employees or colleagues, water authorities and government extension programs, the routine use of health checks and water quality checks, developing and implementing biosecurity plans to check new incoming fish stock and incoming water sources, ensuring adequate and appropriate infrastructure and availability of skilled human resources, implementing correct treatment protocols as well as improving farm record keeping to more accurately determine trends in fish diseases and deaths. The purpose of this portion of the study was to inform the industry, government and farmers of the major disease outbreaks, causes, and other potential issues affecting Murray cod production. The findings from this project were utilised to develop better Murray cod aquaculture management techniques for government literature and can offer a starting for future work to develop techniques to mitigate the issues limiting Murray cod production.
Keywordsfish; Murray cod; aquaculture; agriculture; epidemiology; fish healh; integrated farming; veterinary medicine; veterinary population health; veterinary population medicine; sustainability
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