Safe Management Series: the role of preventive health management in aquaculture

Aquaculture, Blog

Liliana Borges and Melina Bonato, members of ICC Brazil’s Research and Development department, explain the relationship between animal health and production gains.

Preventive health management is directly related to the health, welfare, and performance of fish and shrimp farming and considered one of the most critical factors in aquaculture. Dr. Melina Bonato, R&D Manager, and Dr. Liliana Borges, R&D Analyst, animal scientists at ICC Brazil, address sanitary measures that directly influence final product quality and even production costs. Read on below.

Wellbeing is one of the most important elements to be considered in animal production. In aquaculture, neither optimal nutritional management nor excellent environmental characteristics will be able to ensure the maximum productive and reproductive performance of the animals when not conducted correctly. Preventive health management refers to the set of measures and techniques that support healthy and quality production to ensure safe end products for the consumer. Therefore, it should be adopted as completely as possible to reduce the mortality rate and improve performance indexes in aquaculture.

Maintaining wellbeing is a crucial factor in aquaculture as it involves the defense mechanisms to which animals are exposed daily, such as adverse conditions, abrupt or not, which may be climate changes, lack of control of cultivation density, problems with water quality contamination by pathogens, etc., directly influencing the profitability of production. The adoption of correct sanitary management will directly reflect on the health of the animals, reducing economic losses due to the occurrence of illnesses and mortality. Animals with strengthened immunity  can respond more efficiently to the challenges posed by intensive production, ultimately obtaining more significant production gains.

In intensive fish and shrimp farming, there is naturally more susceptibility to bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections, especially in moments of stress. For several years, the most common method to treat bacterial infections in aquaculture was the use of antibiotics. However, aquaculture faces severe problems due to several adverse effects of these drugs, such as accumulation in the tissue microbiota and the environment. Therefore, supplementation with additives that strengthen the immune system may be one of the keys to greater productivity.

Another essential factor for aquaculture health is the control of mortality and correct disposal of dead animals, which must be carried out responsibly and attentively. Dead and visibly sick animals must be removed to avoid contamination of other animals. The procedure of burying fish in areas close to production is still common but generates damage to the environment through soil contamination. It may also reach the water table and attract birds and other animals that carry pathogens. Therefore, composting is the most appropriate method for natural mortalities. This will result in organic fertilizer for fertilizing forest crops and gardening, offering an additional advantage for the producer, in addition to not causing any damage to the soil and table water.

ImmunoWall®: greater health and profitability in aquaculture

Improvements in health and production may be achieved by supplementing aquaculture diets with ImmunoWall®, an ICC Brazil product. ImmunoWall® is a cell wall of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast (ICC Brazil), with 35% β-glucans (1.3 and 1.6) and 20% mannan oligosaccharides (MOS). This solution from ICC Brazil acts on the response of the innate immune system, favoring a faster response when in the presence of a pathogen or antigen, in addition to having a high capacity for agglutination of pathogenic bacteria that have fimbriae and adsorb a wide range of mycotoxins. This set of actions contributes to disease prevention and stimulates more significant production gains by improving responses to infections and reducing the use of medicines, ultimately resulting in increased profitability.

Do you want to increase the safety and health of animals while increasing the profitability of aquaculture? Check out ICC Brazil solutions for the segment:




Posted in 25 August of 2020