The Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) is home to a world class international team of epidemiologists working with aquatic and terrestrial food animals, including the prestigious Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in aquatic epidemiology and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Collaborating Centre in Epidemiology and Risk Assessment of Aquatic Animal Diseases.
The CERC not only funds many projects in the Atlantic provinces and nationally in Canada, but also facilitates international research. One of the areas of focus is health monitoring investigations in Vietnam, more specifically in tilapia farming in the Mekong Delta and in mariculture in Northern Vietnam.
Understanding how fish are raised from juveniles through harvest is important for identifying and reducing factors that contribute to disease transmission. Vietnam is a very productive aquaculture country, but the many opportunities for farms to share disease exposures make it prone to impacts on productivity.
The expertise from AVC researchers on surveillance programs in the salmon industry, in combination with expertise from Vietnamese researchers on warm water aquaculture, is expected to lead to increased sustainability for small producers in rural areas. This win-win situation also helps keep AVC at the forefront of evidence-based practices on a global scale.
Contributed by Dr. Larry Hammell, professor of aquatic health management, and Dr. Annette Boerlage, a post-doctoral fellow, both at Atlantic Veterinary College. For more information, see www.upei.ca/~fishhlth/fish.htm