Biosecurity and species

Biosecurity policies and fish health follow up are adapted to the targeted species and the relevant pathogens. Our in-house breeding programmes consisting of three species; Atlantic salmon, Tilapia and White leg shrimp requires different approaches to biosecurity due to the differences in production systems.

The Atlantic Salmon

We have invested in biosecure land-sites for our in-house production of broodstock and eggs in Norway, Iceland and Chile. Our sites in Iceland are certified ISA-free compartments.

We also hold broodstock in the Norwegian sea through our licenced producers, but the same principles on biosecurity and risk mitigation apply for all production models. Our end-goal is to ensure safe and biosecure eggs for our customers.

All breeders used for egg production must be healthy without any signs of disease. In the Closed Broodstock Production Model, we have a different set of tools compared to the two other production strategies (Figure 1).

The principles of strictly healthy breeders for safe egg production are applied across our entire production. The Closed Broodstock Production Model allows us to work much more targeted with pathogen detection than for broodstock that has been reared in the sea.

SPR/SPF Shrimp

The Breeding Nucleus of our shrimp operation is located at Punta Canoa in Colombia. It is entirely isolated from any other aquaculture farming operation.  The breeding nucleus has been working under closed-cycled conditions for the past 15 years, following all protocols for the production of Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) animals, as well as Specific Pathogen Resistant (SPR) Animals for the White Spot Syndrom Virus (WSSV) and the Taura Syndrom Virus (TSV).

The facilities are certified as Biosecure facilities and registered with the Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario (ICA).

The disease-free status of the animals is documented by the PCR results of the surveillance program. This is carried out by ICA every three months following guidelines and protocols set by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). This can be documented by the official certificates as well as the SPF status.

From the nucleus, selected breeders are transferred to the Benchmark Genetics USA Multiplication Center. They operate under the strictest biosecurity measures, following the guidelines and protocols set by OIE.

Following the USDA APHIS criteria for establishing SPF, our disease-free status of the animals is documented by the PCR results of our surveillance program. USDA APHIS VS supervises it as the Competent Authority for aquatic animal health. We participate in the Commercial Aquaculture Health Program Standards (CAPHS) carried out by USDA APHIS. The samples are taken and tested every quarter by the USDA vet. Some key biosecurity measures include the inland location 30 km from the coast with pristine well infrastructure, where the secure water sources are located 750 m below the ground.

Tilapia

The Spring Genetics Breeding Nucleus in South Florida has been running a close nucleus biosecure operation since 2009. Our biosecurity measures are the following:

  • No fish has entered the site since the start of the operation of the nucleus in 2009
  • The nucleus is isolated from other aquaculture productions
  • Water source comes from well water which is 100% UV filtered
  • All of our ponds are covered
  • The site is completely fenced

Spring Genetics is a USDA-APHIS authorized export facility and complies with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Aquaculture (FDACS), Aquaculture Best Management Practices program.

As part of Spring Genetics’ Health Surveillance Program, samples are sent to the University of Florida for a quarterly health screening following the OIE protocols.

Other protocols

  • No visitors being allowed into the facilities without prior authorization
  • A continuous biosecurity training program for the staff
  • Proper PPE’s for personnel and visitors.
Tissue sample Spring Genetics Tilapia
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