The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) held the 4th Global Conference on Aquatic Animal Health from 2 to 4 April 2019, in Santiago, Chile to bring more than 250 people representing 90 countries from public and private sectors to discuss improved approaches to emerging disease response, best biosecurity practices, strategies to reduce the use of antimicrobial agents, and the importance of implementing the OIE international Standards.
Though the value of Asia-Pacific regional aquatic animal production in 2014 was 79 percent of the global total, the effective prevention and control of aquatic animal diseases continue to be an issue in the region. Thus, following the Global Conference, OIE Regional Representation for Asia and the Pacific (OIE RRAP) organised a half-day regional side meeting. The objectives of the side meeting are:1) to introduce OIE RRAP recent activities on aquatic animal health and the proposal of establishment of a “Regional Collaboration Framework” and collect comments from participants; and 2) to explore ways to strengthen the role of the OIE Delegate and Focal Point (FP) for Aquatic Animals in aquatic animal health activities.
More than 50 participants attended the meeting comprised of the OIE Delegates, OIE FPs for Aquatic Animals and their representatives; delegation of Member Countries; experts from OIE Reference Laboratories; OIE Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission; experts from private and public sectors as well as OIE staff. It was the first time to involve both OIE delegate and FPs for Aquatic Animals in a regional workshop. It provided an excellent opportunity for the OIE Delegate to strengthen their network with FPs and experts to gain more understanding about the threat of aquatic animal diseases.
During the meeting, information regarding the recent activities taken to strengthen the commitment of countries toward aquatic animal health was distributed and discussed. Similarly, the participants gave their attention to the new regional initiatives that aim to strengthen collaboration between Member Countries and OIE Reference Centers within the Regional Collaborating Framework and Regional Information Sharing Platform. The participants appreciated the new initiatives and generally supported the idea that OIE RRAP will further work to materialize and formalize the ideas toward the consideration and endorsement of the OIE Regional Commission.
Taking advantage of the fact that more than half of OIE delegates and FPs attended this meeting, Dr Ingo Ernst, the president of OIE Aquatic Animals Health Standards Commission, gave a short presentation on the OIE Aquatic Commission report (Feb 2019). FP of Philippines and Malaysia also shared their experience on better engagement in aquatic animal health.