AquaEpi III

Fisheries and Aquaculture has been one of the fastest growing food sectors in the world. However, diseases are the most significant constraint to the growth of aquaculture. Globally, huge economic losses have been reported due to diseases. In finfish aquaculture, the losses due to parasitic infestations were estimated to be about US$1.05 to 9.58 billion (Shinn et al. 2015). In the shrimp aquaculture sector in Asia, the annual losses were reported to be to the tune of US$4 billion during 2009–2018 (Shinn et al. 2018). Similarly, a recent study estimated annual loss due to shrimp diseases in India to be around US$ 1.02 billion (Patil et al. 2021).

Disease outbreaks are usually the end result of complex interactions involving environmental factors, health condition of the animals and presence of infectious agents. To have a thorough understanding of the factors involved in disease outbreaks, it is essential to follow aquatic system approach, which is possible through application of epidemiological principles. In this approach, the major emphasis is to determine if the disease is infectious or not and if infectious, then prevent transmission and spread. Over the last few decades, there have been a number of instances where the new diseases have spread across countries while the focus has been on identifying the causal agent. It is important to note that a number of risk factors determine and influence the frequency and distribution of disease in a population. The knowledge on risk factors can improve the ability of aquatic animal surveillance systems for early detection and rapid response to pathogens.

The International Society of Aquatic Animal Epidemiology (ISAAE) organises a triennial event ‘International Conference on Aquatic Animal Epidemiology (AquaEpi)’ which provides a platform for dissemination, networking and creative contacts between researchers working in the area of aquatic animal epidemiology, industry and stakeholders for the benefit of the aquaculture sector. Two previous Conferences in Oslo, Norway in 2016 and Hua Hin, Thailand in 2019 have brought together eminent scientists, students and industry personnel from different countries to discuss disease-related issues and finding solutions to them. The ISAAE in collaboration with Indian Council of Agricultural Research announces 3rd International Conference on Aquatic Animal Epidemiology (AquaEpi III) which will be held at ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources, Lucknow during November 29- December 01, 2023. The AquaEpi III will provide a platform for focussed discussions to address issues relating to risk factors which catalyse horizontal spread of diseases, emergence of new pathogens and spread of transboundary pathogens, increased diseases susceptibility and possible strategies for their mitigation and strengthening surveillance system thereby minimizing losses due to diseases. The Conference will include Keynote Presentations from renowned experts on Aquatic Animal Epidemiology and other relevant disciplines. It would have a strong practical aspect in order to familiarize the use of epidemiology in day-to-day challenges. During the international event, there will be deliberations on the following thematic areas; 

  • Epidemiology of finfish and shellfish diseases
  • Epidemiology of finfish and shellfish diseases
  • Molecular epidemiology and application in source tracking
  • Surveillance and reporting
  • Spatial and temporal patterns in prevalence and risk mapping
  • Risk assessment and management studies
  • Outbreak investigation, case reports, data collection/sampling procedures
  • Interaction of wild and farmed aquatic species - the challenges for disease control.
  • Use of artificial intelligence in disease diagnosis
  • Environmental DNA- A tool for monitoring pathogens in aquaculture
  • Disease informatics and its application for control strategies
  • Biosecurity in aquaculture
  • Social and economic impacts of aquatic animal diseases