Risks to aquatic animal health within the context of marine aquaculture are a critical concern for both the economic security of seafood producers in the US and for the health and safety of seafood consumers. The ability to ensure and demonstrate a culture environment free from pathogens reduces those risks, and provides a potential marketing advantage for farmed products (thereby reducing pressure on wild fisheries). Tools to detect disease in these settings are limited, in both availability and relevance, and there have been no meaningful advancements in practical biosecurity measures for aquaculture in recent years.
Project Goals: Products produced as a result of this subtopic should be practical (i.e. not cost prohibitive for aquaculture practitioners and not prohibitively complicated to deploy) and effective. Tools for disease detection should focus on pathogens of concern (those known to pose an economic threat to growers and those that pose a known threat to human health) and should deliver actionable results to the end user (i.e. indicate whether the presence of a particular organism indicates a true risk).