The National Aquaculture Association (NAA) invites you to participate in an information-sharing conference call between U.S. tilapia growers (fry, fingerlings or broodstock), live importers, and live shippers of market-ready live fish or fingerlings and USDA APHIS Veterinary Services Aquaculture Program.

The toll-free conference call will occur on Friday, July 28, 2017, at 3:00 PM Eastern. There is no registration for the call and the call will not be recorded.

The call-in information is: Dial-in phone number: 712-775-7031. Access Code: 664-518-980.

The topic of this call will be Tilapia Lake Virus. Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) is an emerging disease that has been reported in at least eight different countries around the world where tilapia are produced. This disease appears to have the greatest impact on fingerlings, with losses as high as 90% and appears to be spread by animal movement. To date, there are no reported cases of TiLV in the United States.

Because of the world-wide threat of this disease and the significant impact on tilapia production, it is anticipated that this disease will be added to the list of internationally reportable diseases by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE; see: http://www.oie.int/en/animal-health-in-the-world/oie-listed-diseases-2017/) in the near future. This could mean that exports of live tilapia from the U.S. will require export health certification that states animals are free of this disease. NAA and APHIS are committed to working together to protect U.S. aquaculture and maintaining secure markets for aquatic animals and their products.

In preparation for the call, APHIS has provided three TiLV related questions for you to consider prior to the call.The questions are:

  1. Do you feel there is a need for our own import health requirements of live tilapia entering the United States from countries known to have TiLV to protect the U.S. tilapia industry sector?
  2. If TiLV becomes listed by the OIE, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has indicated that they will immediately impose import health requirements for live tilapia and their products. Other countries may also follow this example. How would this affect your business?
  3. If trading partners, like Canada, implement import health requirements for TiLV which of the following options would be most viable for your business:
    • Option 1: Participate in the already established APHIS-CFIA Registration Program for Food Service, Retail Use and Further Processing of Live and Dead commodities of CFIA Schedule III Aquatic Animals.
    • Option 2: Support a national testing strategy for TiLV that would be designed to create “streams” of tilapia fingerlings produced in the U.S. that are determined to be TiLV free.
    • Option 3: Prefer to test and ship as needed for exports of live tilapia being exported to Canada for culture or for Food Service, Retail Use and Further Processing of Live and Dead commodities.

If you cannot attend the call you may submit your comments to the questions or other TiLV concerns to NAA and we will compile the responses and forward to APHIS. No comments will be attributed to an individual or a farm.

If you have questions or comments about this call or other aquaculture topics, you are welcome to contact the National Aquaculture Association. Our office phone is 850-216-2400 or email is naa@thenaa.net.

Thank you,

Paul

Paul W. Zajicek
Executive Director
National Aquaculture Association
PO Box 12759
Tallahassee, FL 32317-2759
Office Phone: 850-216-2400
Cell Phone: 850-443-3456
Fax: 850-216-2480
Website: http://thenaa.net