PENANG: The Fisheries Department has drafted a harmonised quarantine procedure to facilitate the effort by Asean countries to prevent and reduce the risk of pathogens or diseases transferred within the region.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shariff Omar said the country’s loss due to the “white spot” viral disease in the shrimp aquaculture industry was estimated at RM95mil in 1999.
He said this when opening the three-day regional seminar on “Harmonisation of Quarantine Procedures For Live Fish Among Asean Member Countries” here yesterday.
The seminar was organised as a follow up to the Senior Officials Meeting in February 2000, where Malaysia was nominated as the lead co-ordinating country to develop a manual on ‘Harmonisation of Testing and Quarantine Procedures for Asean member Countries.’
“The threat of diseases has become a primary constraint and risk to the growth of the aquaculture sector, and it is significantly impeding both economic and socio-economic development in the region's dependence on aquaculture and fisheries.
“Therefore it is important to prevent and control the risk of diseases to reduce production losses in commercial, semi-commercial and small-scale aquaculture systems,” said Mohd Shariff.