The third OIE global conference on aquatic animal health took place in Vietnam under the theme “riding the wave to the future”. In his opening address, Bernard Vallat, Director General of the OIE, said : “aquaculture is recognised as the fastest growing food animal producing sector in the world, with nearly 50 % 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 economies in some countries and regions.”
Left : Dr Sitokozile Sibanda, Chief Veterinary Research Officer and OIE focal point for aquatic animal diseases from Zimbabwe and right : Dr. Herbert Schneider, Namibia, Chair of the OIE ad hoc group on PVS Evaluation. Picture © P. Bastiaensen (oie) 2015.
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 the outbreaks, according to Vallat.
The conference was attended by some 250 professionals from around the world, amongst which representatives from veterinary/competent authorities from Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia and Zimbabwe, as well as representatives of all four OIE offices on the continent and a representative of the African Veterinary Association (AVA).
The programme was designed around several session themes and provided in depth insight into issues of e.g. compartmentalisation and surveillance approaches, through panel discussions and presentations by world renowned specialists.
The Conference also allowed OIE and beneficiary countries to present the (outcomes of the) OIE PVS missions conducted for aquatic animal health services (AAHS) and to encourage more countries to engage in this aquatic PVS process, which now also includes laboratory assessments.
High table during the opening ceremony. Picture © Le Courier (Vietnam) Cucthuy/CVN (2015)
Bernard Vallat, Director General of the OIE
All pictures © P. Bastiaensen (oie) 2015.