AIS-HACCP/Aquaculture Biosecurity Workshop to be offered in Clare

The baitfish and aquaculture industries have been proactive in preventing the spread of AIS through training programs, and implementing HACCP plans that are specific to their industries.

Baitfish holding tank at a baitfish farm. Photo credit: Michigan Sea Grant

Baitfish holding tank at a baitfish farm. Photo credit: Michigan Sea Grant

The potential exists for aquatic invasive species (AIS) to spread to uninfested waters through the transport of wild harvested baitfish and aquacultured fish. Baitfish and aquaculture industries are diverse and complex, as are their risks of spreading aquatic invasive species. Most industry segments pose no or very low risk of spreading aquatic invasive species. To deal effectively and fairly with this potential vector, it is important to characterize the industry according to their risks of spreading aquatic invasive species. Without adequate risk assessment of individual operations, regulations could be imposed, which would unnecessarily and negatively impact the economy of these industries, and still not effectively reduce the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species.

One approach to this problem is to apply the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) concept, similar to that used by the seafood industry to minimize seafood consumption health risks. The advantages of this system are that it can effectively deal with a diverse industry, it has proven to be a good partnership between industry and government regulators, and when properly applied, it is effective. The HACCP approach concentrates on the points in the process that are critical to the safety of the product, minimizes risks, and stresses communication between regulators and the industry. The baitfish and aquaculture industries have been proactive in using the HACCP approach to prevent the spread of AIS by participating in training programs and implementing HACCP plans that are specific to their operations.

To continue these efforts Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan State University Extension, and the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center (NCRAC) will be offering an Aquatic Invasive Species-Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (AIS-HACCP)/Aquaculture Biosecurity Workshop that will be held on October 21, 2014 in Clare, Michigan at the Doherty Hotel. The workshop will run from 9:00 am to 4:30 p.m., and there is no registration fee. For more information, please contact Ron Kinnunen at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (906) 226-3687.

There has been recent interest by the aquaculture/baitfish industry and regulators to develop some type of certification/verification program to ensure that AIS-HACCP/Aquaculture Biosecurity procedures are actually in place and working. Such a certification/verification program does not exist in the North Central Region, thus pilot programs for Michigan and Minnesota will be explored and will be discussed at the workshop.

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