Aquatic Animal Health Strategy

Harmonizing Aquatic Health Initiatives


Building a European Network of Focal Points for Aquatic Animals

As part of the implementation programme of the WOAH Aquatic Animal Health Strategy in the European region, the WOAH sub-regional representation in Astana is organizing a series of meetings to involve European Aquatic Animals Focal Points. The objective is to gather valuable insights on current aquaculture topics and to establish an operational network of these Focal Points in Europe.

The first webinar, conducted on March 6th, was well attended by Focal Points. It focused on the relationship between environmental factors and aquatic animal health, emphasizing the need for collaboration between veterinary services and technical institutes under environmental ministries. This collaboration is crucial to address challenges related to mortality and infectious and parasitic diseases in aquaculture, both in marine and inland waters, including shellfish production.

Several speakers from European research centers, WOAH reference laboratories, and collaborative centers provided insights into environmental issues affecting aquaculture. They highlighted collaborative efforts between veterinary and environmental services and proposed potential interactions to address these challenges effectively.

The Astana sub-regional representation presented a proposal for the structure and functioning of a network of Aquatic Animal Focal Points, which received positive feedback. As a result, the initiative will continue with further webinars or meetings focusing on topics of common interest, aimed at enhancing the implementation of the WOAH Aquatic Strategy in the European region.