Biosecurity and aquaculture

Biosecurity in Shellfish and Seaweed Aquaculture

Biosecurity refers to the set of preventative measures taken to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases in crops and livestock, quarantined pests, invasive alien species, and living modified organisms. Good biosecurity is a necessary tool in the toolbox for aquaculture producers, to maintain both a healthy and profitable crop, but also to maintain the health of the environment upon which the farm depends.

A program to introduce or review these concepts for aquaculture producers was conducted on November 30th, 2016, at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center, in Belfast. Several speakers contributed to the program, followed by a discussion period. Presenters, materials and notes from the meeting are given below. While the meeting was not a complete education on all biosecurity methods and practices, it did present many of the principal topics that producers should know about, and helped them connect with expertise that can help them develop their own biosecurity plans.


Welcome, introductions, goals for the meeting

Dana Morse, Maine Sea Grant, and University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Overview of shellfish physiology and shellfish pathogens

Dr. Cem Giray, Kennebec River Biosciences

  • basic shellfish physiology: organs and function
  • types of pathogens, and their ecology: transference, replication, virulence
  • diseases of concern to shellfish producers

Presentation Slides

Regulations on importation and movement of shellfish

Marcy Nelson, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources Presentation slides

Neoplasias of soft-shell clam, and implications for clam transfers

Denis-Marc Nault, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources Presentation slides

Best Management Practices toward improved biosecurity

Sebastian Belle, Maine Aquaculture Association

Meeting Minutes