Control measures for certain fish diseasesslide

Minimum Community measures for the control of certain fish diseases

An outbreak of a fish disease can quickly take on epizootic proportions, causing mortality and disturbances on a scale liable to reduce severely the profitability of aquaculture. Therefore it is important that control measures are taken when the presence of such a disease is suspected so that immediate and effective actions can be implemented as soon as its presence is confirmed. Such measures are aimed at preventing the spread of the disease, in particular by carefully controlling movements of fish and products liable to spread the infection.

The minimum Community measures for the control of the fish diseases referred to in list I and II of Annex A to Directive 91/67/EEC are laid down in Council Directive 93/53/EEC pdf of 24 June 1993. This Directive has been amended several times in order to update the legislation to new situations and new scientific knowledge. The diseases are categorised in three lists.

When fish on a farm are suspected of being infected with a list I disease, infectious salmon anaemia ( ISA), the official services in the Member States must initiate official investigations to confirm or rule out the presence of the disease. No movement of fish, whether dead or alive, eggs and gametes are allowed without the authorisation of the official service. When the presence of the disease is confirmed, fish infected with the disease are killed and destroyed as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the disease. Member States must have contingency plans for List I diseases.

List II diseases are important endemic diseases that should be contained and eradicated in the long term. Where fish are suspected of being infected or infected with a list II disease, i.e. viral haemorrhagic septicaemia ( VHS) and infectious haematopoietic necrosis( IHN) an official investigation must be initiated to confirm or rule out the presence of the disease. Approved farms and zones will loose their status as free from the disease until it is proven that the disease is eradicated.

All farms rearing or keeping fish susceptible to list I or list II disease must be registered by the official service and keep record of mortality and the movement into and out of the farm.

Directives 91/67 , 93/53 and 90/70 will be merged and updated by Directive 2006/88/EC pdf of 24 October 2006 on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof, and on the prevention and control of certain diseases in aquatic animals. Member States shall apply Directive 2006/88/EC from 1 August 2008.


- Basic texts :

Council Directive 93/53/EEC pdf of 24 June 1993 introducing minimum Community measures for the control of certain fish diseases
   As amended by
   Council Directive 2000/27/EC pdf
   Commission Decision 2001/288/EC pdf

- Commission decisions :

Commission Decision 2003/466/EC of 13 June establishing criteria for zoning and official surveillance following suspicion or confirmation of the presence of infectious salmon anaemia (ISA). pdf

Commission Decision 2001/183/EC of 22 February 2001 laying down the sampling plans and diagnostic methods for the detection and confirmation of certain fish diseases and repealing Decision 92/532/EEC. (applies to VHS and IHN) pdf

Commission Decision 2001/872/EC pdf of 7 December 2001 approving the schemes submitted by the United Kingdom and Ireland for the withdrawal of all fish in farms infected with infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) virus and repealing Decision 2001/494/EC

Reference laboratories

Annex A of Directive 93/53/EEC pdf : List of National Reference Laboratories for fish diseases

Community Reference Laboratory for fish diseases:
   Statens Veterinaere Serumslaboratorium
   Hangoevej 2
   8200 Aarhus



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