On a daily basis our industry moves fish, invertebrates and plants across international frontiers and within countries between fish farmers, collectors, wholesalers and retailers.

The fish and plants we move intentionally may also carry viruses, bacteria and larger organisms, such as fungi, nematodes and crustacea.  History has shown that most of these are apparently harmless. Many ornamental fish are kept in closed systems so issues are contained and pose negligible risks.

But those hitchhikers can cause problems, albeit thankfully rarely. So it is essential that our industry takes its responsibilities over the issue of biosecurity very seriously.

We have produced a dedicated document addressing biosecurity. Our aim is to help all businesses within the industry to make informed decisions on where to buy fish and how their management of those purchases can minimise the chances of either receiving or passing on disease or health problems.

We have also created a Biosecurity Risk Calculator to get an overview of the impact biosecurity measures can have in reducing the disease risk in your business.

This model is based upon the transfer rates, infection rates and biosecurity measures implemented. You need three pieces of data to use the calculator:

  • How many sites the fish visit before entering your premises
  • The infection rate of the disease in which you are interested. You can estimate this. (For example: if you notice a disease such as White Spot in your stock, estimate the percentage of stock which shows signs of infection over a day.  This needs to be a value between 0 to 100%.)
  • Estimate the amount of effort you put into biosecurity. Be honest, it is unlikely that your premises will be 100% biosecure, but even small measures can help to greatly reduce infection.  This is also needs to be a value between 0 to 100%.

Once you have these three values, simply enter them into the calculator to find out the probability of infection on your premises.