A Promising Field for the Future
Aquaculture represents a real success story for agriculture and the farming of animals. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) statistics show that the harvest of wild fish reached a plateau during the mid-seventies despite significant increases in the efficiencies in fisheries harvesting technology.
Nonetheless, demand for fish remains strong. This is because fish are not only delicious to eat – but one of the healthiest sources of protein, especially oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines which contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
The Power of Vaccines
Vaccines represent a success story within aquaculture and the future of fish health management. The use of antimicrobials in some species such as farmed salmon has been virtually eliminated through the successful use of vaccines – the power of highly effective preventive medicine.
The new challenge, however, is the development of effective vaccines against viral and parasitic infections which remain difficult indications to manage in intensively reared species.
On this front Novartis Aqua Health continues to lead the way having developed the first licensed vaccines against several salmon viruses including Infectious Salmon Anaemia (“ISA”) and Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis Virus (“IHN”). Both were world “firsts,” as were several other Novartis Aqua Health products. More are in the pipeline with researchers actively pursuing several other viral pathogens of both salmon and several other marine fish species.
By playing our role in developing these highly effective fish health management tools, we are enabling aqua culturists to meet the demand for fish products and in the process helping to conserve many endangered fisheries and fish stocks.
Aquaculture is extremely important as it represents the solution to preserve wild fish populations. The FAO predicts that by 2010 aquaculture will supply approximately one-third of the total world fishery and nearly half by 2030. Indeed, aquaculture has many challenges ahead if it’s to meet this demand in a sustainable way. While fish are not a significant source of human pathogens, farmed fish are susceptible to disease. Pathogens include the usual suspects: parasites, virus and bacteria. To deal with disease, farmers and veterinarians require fish health management tools that are effective, environmentally responsible and acceptable to the public. The future success of aquaculture depends on developing and adopting technologies which allow efficient and environmentally sustainable production.
Aqua Internet Site
Visit the Aqua website to learn more about our Aqua business in Norway.
Apex®-IHN is the first effective vaccine to prevent Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis (IHN) in farm-raised Atlantic Salmon.
Novartis Animal Health is supporting aquaculture through continued in-depth study of health solutions for the challenges that face both currently cultured and emerging species of fish.