This report, the 68th in the series, contains information about the aquatic animal health status of thirteen states in the Asia-Pacific region. The foreword discusses harmonisation in ASEAN aquaculture certification.

In this issue:

Anti-microbials and alternatives. Successful demonstration of new model for rural development in Myanmar. Optimisation of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) production in ponds based on improved farm management practices in Rwanda. EUS infection in freshwater fishes of Andhra Pradesh. Development of pond-reared broodstock / spawners of green mud crab Scylla serrata. ASEAN Gender Network launched. A two-tube nested PCR detection method for AHPND bacteria. 9th Regional Grouper Hatchery Production Training Course.

In this issue:

12th Technical Advisory Committee held in Cha-am, Thailand. Audio recordings: WAS special session on regional cooperation for improved biosecurity. AFSPAN Final Technical Report now available! Pillay Aquaculture Foundation Awards for Scientists in Least Developed Countries. Gender seminar conducted and ASEAN Gender Network launched. A two-tube, nested PCR detection method for AHPND bacteria. 9th Regional Grouper Hatchery Production Training Course. Developing an environmental monitoring system to strengthen fisheries and aquaculture in the Lower Mekong Basin. Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop on the Status of Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Brett Herbert introduces the special session with a presentation on biosecurity and regional cooperation.

Transboundary aquatic animal diseases are one of the major concerns for strengthening of aquatic animal health management capacity in the region. The spread of these diseases demonstrates the vulnerability of the aquaculture industry, as well as the wild fish populations, to disease emergence where impacts have been exacerbated by the lack of preparedness. NACA's Aquatic Animal Health Programme, established in 1998, provides a mechanism for regional governments to coordinate disease preparedness, surveillance and response.

Domestication in livestock industries is the process in which animal populations change in response to the artificial environments of farming production systems. Significant and widespread economic gains have been achieved through genetic improvements made through domestication and selective breeding of commercially farmed shrimp species, particularly Litopenaeus vannamei. Different policies on the translocation of shrimp genetic resources have influenced the approaches to shrimp domestication in different countries. The present paper examines the different approaches.

In early 2013, Vibrio parahaemolyticus was discovered as the causative agent of acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND). Subjecting 4 arbitrarily selected V. parahaemolyticus isolates obtained from a single farm in November 2012 to the previously reported immersion challenge protocol, we confirmed that 3 caused high mortality at different rates accompanied by characteristic lesions of AHPND while 1 caused high mortality without such lesions. Virulence may be determined by mobile genetic elements such as plasmids or bacteriophages.

Tropical shrimp aquaculture is facing a disease crisis that may be propelled by an interaction between management practices that cause inbreeding, and the amplification by inbreeding of susceptibility to disease and other stresses. Broodstock accumulate inbreeding and lose genetic diversity when they experience bottlenecks or are chronically too small. The genetic lock is a practice that leads to inbreeding at farm level. Inbreeding may be amplifying the severity of diseases, including the major current threats.

A special session on Regional Cooperation for Improved Biosecurity was held at the World Aquaculture Adelaide 2014 conference, from 7-11 June. The session discussed i) regional cooperation in biosecurity, ii) dealing with emerging diseases, focussing on acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease, and iii) domestication programmes and their implications for genetic diversity, disease susceptibility and resistance.

The twelfth meeting of NACA’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) was held in the coastal town of Cha-am, Thailand from 9-12 March. The TAC meets every two years to review NACA’s rolling work programme and propose amendments to realign it with the current needs of member governments and to account for new and emerging issues. In proposing changes, the TAC prioritises issues of common concern to member governments where there are prospects for regional collaboration.