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Comprehensive Aquaculture Health Program Standards

The Comprehensive Aquaculture Health Program Standards (CAHPS) establish a nonregulatory framework for the improvement and verification of the health of farmed aquatic animals produced in U.S. commercial aquaculture industry sectors to facilitate trade. Principles outlined in the CAHPS may be used by industry, Federal, State, Tribal, and regulatory and private veterinary authorities to provide for early disease detection, surveillance, reporting and response for the control of aquatic animal pathogens—especially those listed by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)—and to prevent pathogen dissemination via movement and trade of aquatic animals.

CAHPS will support various business objectives including efforts to improve health management, protect and expand aquaculture business opportunities, promote and facilitate trade, as well as efforts to improve resource protection and environmental sustainability. The five principles of CAHPS are Aquatic Animal Health Team; Risk Characterization and Management; Surveillance; Investigation and Reporting; and Response.

The CAHPS program was initiated by industry (the National Aquaculture Association) and developed by industry and APHIS, the competent veterinary authority for farmed animal health. To be most effective CAHPS will need cooperation from States, other Federal agencies, and private industry to achieve implementation.

  • To improve the health of U.S. farm-raised aquatic animals.
  • To facilitate safe interstate and international trade and/or movement of live aquatic animals
  • To improve the marketability of animals produced by CAHPS participants.
All aquaculture producers (public or private) may participate in this voluntary program. The Establishment option provides the foundation for participation. This option provides a credible science-based approach to farmed aquatic animal health assessment, management and status. Once the final version of the CAHPS is ready for implementation, APHIS and industry sector leaders will provide information on the enrollment process.

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