October 27, 2013
Biosecurity Plan First Draft
Facility Introduction For my aquaculture facility I will be creating a biosecurity plan for an Atlantic Cod land based recirculation system. Recirculation facilities allow for the most environmental control and manipulation, which is optimal for aquaculture health management. Atlantic Cod is already a valuable aquaculture species, so there is a lot of research into health management strategies for this species.
Background and Life History Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) is a benthic fish species that is found on both sides of the Northern Atlantic in waters from 0°C-20°C. Subpopulations have differing migration patterns, some areas have populations that feed offshore and come near shore to spawn while other subpopulations remain near shore throughout their entire lives. Cod prefer salinities from 28-35‰ but they can tolerate salinities as low as 10‰. They have 10-20 spawning batches per breeding season and produce platonic eggs. The eggs become benthic around two months after hatching. Atlantic Cod become sexually mature around three years of age, and they reach harvestable size around three kilograms around 24-36 months after hatching (Source 2).
Pathogen and Disease Avoidance There will be multiple independent recirculation systems within the facility; this way if there is a problem with a disease outbreak in one system it will not affect the others. Also if there is a malfunction with any component of a system it will not impact the entire facility. The recirculation system will have many types of filters and water cleaning devices to ensure that there is as little stress as possible on the fish. Each system will also have a backup for each component, so if the primary fails there will be a backup that can be quickly and easily put in its place to keep the water quality at optimal levels. The system components that will be utilized in the facility include a bead filter, drum filter, foam fractionator, UV sterilizer, sump pump, and settlement tank. These filters and components will remove pathogens and disease causing agents that could possibly infect the fish in the facility, and will also clean the water that is discharged back into the environment. All systems will have automated water quality monitoring alarms to ensure that all changes in the water quality are noticed immediately. The facility is an indoor closed recirculation system so the interaction with outside pathogens and vectors will be minimalized. Water quality parameters such as temperature, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, pH, salinity, hardness, and dissolved oxygen will also be monitored manually multiple times daily to ensure that all the automated sensors are working properly. Each system will also have its own set of equipment to be used for that specific system in order to prevent any cross contamination between the systems in the facility. Tedious records will be kept of all water quality parameters to keep track of any changes in the systems over time. Water quality parameters will be kept optimal for the cod in the facility at all stages of their development. All excess feed and solid wastes that are in the tanks will be removed on a regular daily basis. All workers and visitors to the facility will be required to sterilize their shoes with a step in bath before entering the facility to prevent the transmission of any pathogens into the facility. They will also be required to scrub down and sanitize their hands and anything that will come in contact with the fish and equipment in the facility. All stocking densities will be kept minimal to reduce stress on all fish. Low stocking densities will help reduce horizontal transmission of diseases between fish that are in the same tank if the infection is caught early enough. All eggs, sperm, larvae, juveniles, and broodstock that are brought into the facility will be bought specific