The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS), in collaboration with the National Aquaculture Association (NAA), is rolling out its joint concept for commercial aquaculture health program standards (CAHPS), and posting a framework document on the APHIS Aquaculture webpage for review.
Representatives from the NAA and the VS Aquaculture Program Team have been developing draft program standards to establish this voluntary, nonregulatory framework for the improvement and verification of the health of farmed aquatic animals produced in U.S. commercial aquaculture industry sectors. The goal of CAHPS is to support various business objectives, including improved health management, protection and expansion of aquaculture business opportunities, and promotion and facilitation of trade, as well as improved resource protection and environmental sustainability. The concept of CAHPS will be introduced at an NAA-sponsored session at Aquaculture America 2015, New Orleans, LA. During this session, NAA and VS will discuss the need and support for CAHPS and share the five principles that constitute the foundation of the standards. Following the presentations there will be time for open discussion.
APHIS, in conjunction with NAA, plans to hold focus groups over the next several months to refine and complete the program standards and to develop an implementation strategy.