The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) released the National Aquaculture Health Plan and Standards (NAHP&S).
The NAHP&S establishes guidance for national disease reporting, laboratory and testing standardization, surveillance, response, biosecurity, data management, and education and training, which will benefit the nation's aquaculture health. It also outlines health inspection options to provide consistent and verifiable ways to establish, maintain and certify the health and safety of aquatic livestock, and lists the actions USDA will take in each of these areas to implement the plan. These actions will support the overall health of the aquaculture industry, which will provide protection and assurance for producers of farm-raised aquatic animals in the United States.
With the release of this plan, USDA is taking a lead role in providing guidance for aquatic animal health. USDA is the primary federal entity with oversight over livestock and other agricultural commodities, so it is a natural fit to take the lead in providing oversight for aquatic animal and aquaculture health. USDA will continue to collaborate with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), as well as other Federal, State, and Tribal entities to ensure the health of all aquatic animals in the United States. The NAHPS will be updated every 2 years by USDA in consultation with these partners. The version released today provides guidance for the years 2021-2023.
For further information, please contact Dr. Kathleen Hartman at Kathleen.H.Hartman@usda.gov.