In spring 2013, the Farmed Fish Health and Welfare Working Group (FFH & WWG) was established by Marine Scotland under the auspices of the Ministerial Group for Sustainable Aquaculture (MGSA).
The Working Group has been established as part of the restructured MGSA that has itself been established to support Scotland’s aquaculture sectors to achieve their growth targets sustainably, with due regard for the marine environment.
The FFH & WWG is chaired by Professor Randolph Richards of The Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling. Membership is comprised of academic experts, fish health professionals, including veterinarians, regulators, industry experts and those in the policy area.
The Working Group has met twice on the 7th of June 2013 and the 6th December 2013.
The Working Group’s main agreed deliverables:
- Cleanerfish – Advice on biosecurity practice linked to the use of wrasse as cleanerfish to be developed. Advice will be used to update the Code of Good Practice, Veterinary Health Plans and Risk Assessments;
- Freshwater finfish mortality reporting - Thresholds to be developed for both salmon and trout for different life stages. The thresholds will be used to enhance existing voluntary reporting mechanisms that are in place for farmed marine salmon;
- Mortality disposal – Ensuring that industry have in place appropriate routes for mortality disposal, and
- Disease prioritisation exercise – To be conducted for trout farming and to be used to ensure research and resource are directed appropriately.
The agreed deliverables are to be completed, or advanced, prior to the next meeting of the core MGSA group on the 19th of May 2014.
The next meeting of the Working Group has been scheduled for the 29th of April 2014.