National Surveillance Programme for Aquatic Animal Diseases

Diseases have been posing a severe constraint to the sustainability of aquaculture. There has been emergence as well as spread of infectious diseases to new areas due to intensification and diversification of aquaculture, and globalisation of trade. The epidemic spread and devastating effects of aquatic animal diseases such as white spot disease in penaeid shrimps, infection with Aphanomyces invadans in finfish and white tail disease in freshwater prawn have highlighted the vulnerability of aquaculture system to disease emergencies. Early detection is key to the control of emerging and exotic diseases in a profoundly interconnected world. This requires active vigilance for signs of disease outbreak and rapid diagnosis of its infectious etiology.

Surveillance programme for monitoring and controlling spread of diseases of national and international significance has become a primary concern for effective health management. Realizing the importance of such a programme, Department of Animal Husbandry Dairying and Fisheries (DADF), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India has initiated a National Surveillance Programme for Aquatic Animal Diseases (NSPAAD) through National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB). Currently, this programme is being implemented in 15 states of aquaculture importance and Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, through 24 National/State Fisheries Institutes. The programme is being coordinated by ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources, Lucknow.

The objectives of National Surveillance Programme are

  • To improve the collection of information on the distribution and occurrence of aquatic animal diseases
  • To rapidly detect new and exotic infectious diseases in aquatic animals
  • To implement a national information management system for aquatic animal diseases of national concern
  • To improve reporting obligations of the country to World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and regional Quarterly Aquatic Animal Disease (QAAD) Reporting System of Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA)