Aquaculture is still the fastest growing food-producing sector in the world. The Asia and Pacific region has dominated global aquaculture production, both in quantity and value. However, the rapid growth of this sector brings with it risks, which are compounded by the increasingly globalized trade in live aquatic animals and their products. Aquatic animal disease outbreaks continue to cause significant losses in aquaculture production throughout the world, adversely impacting the sustainability of aquaculture, and livelihoods of those involved sector.
In the OIE Expert Consultation Meeting on Aquatic Animal Disease Diagnosis and Control held in November 2018 in Bangkok (Thailand), it was proposed to establish the Regional Collaboration Framework on Aquatic Animal Health in Asia and the Pacific (hereinafter referred to as “the Framework”), which would initially focus on building a framework of actors to strengthen laboratory capacity for aquatic animal disease activities in Asia and the Pacific such as emergency responses to disease outbreaks. It also intended to contribute to improved information sharing among OIE Reference Centres and OIE Member Countries regarding aquatic animal health issues. This proposal was further discussed and endorsed by the Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania in its 31st Conference held in Sendai, Japan, in September 2019.
The 1st meeting of the ad hoc Steering Committee was organised in November 2019 to share information regarding planned activities and capacities of OIE RLs, identify interests amongst OIE RLs and Members as well as to discuss the activities and objective of the Framework. the 2nd meeting of ad hoc steering committee of the Framework further discussed the ongoing projects under the Framework and priority activities to be considered for 2021.
Members of the ad hoc steering committee of the Regional Collaboration Framework on Aquatic Animal Health, OIE Members and representative from partner organisations endorsed the CN of the three flagship activities of the Framework and identified potential topics for future.