Founding a Cutting-Edge Aquatic Animal Health Research Program at WorldFish

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Aquatic animal health is a major constraint on sustainable aquatic food farming systems, with global annual disease-related losses estimated at more than USD 6 billion. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where aquatic animal diseases often spread quickly between small-scale aquaculture farms, vulnerable communities and their incomes can be especially hard hit.

A concerted focus on research and capacity sharing on controlling and preventing these diseases will, therefore, be critical to unleashing the sustainable development potential of aquatic food systems in LMICs. This is particularly true for diseases faced by affordable, low-commercial value species – such as carp, tilapia and catfish – that form a mainstay for many aquaculturists in Africa and Asia. And with aquaculture production projected to reach over 200 million tons by 2030, the importance of aquatic animal health research programs will only intensify.

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