Aquatic Animal Health Science

Protecting Wild and Farmed Aquatic Species

Preventing the spread of aquatic animal diseases within Canada and guarding against the introduction of serious infectious aquatic animal pathogens (i.e., bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause disease in aquatic animals) is critical to safeguarding the health of Canada’s aquatic resources and maintaining our export markets for fish and seafood products.  Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) mission is to promote economically prosperous maritime sectors and fisheries, sustainable aquatic ecosystems, and safe and secure waterways.  To accomplish this, DFO provides a wide range of aquatic animal health activities to support the management of our fisheries and aquaculture resources through both regulatory and non-regulatory science programs.  These programs address both international aspects of aquatic animal health (under programs like the National Aquatic Animal Health Program), as well as local health concerns of our fishery resources.  Specifically, DFO provides scientific knowledge, research, and advice on pathogens to managers in DFO and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to help decision-making.