Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Georgia
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

BJ. Irwin, MM. Tomamichel, ME. Frischer, RJ. Hall, ADE. Davis, TH. Bliss, P. Rohani, and JE. Byers. 2023. Managing the threat of infectious disease for sustainable seafood production. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. doi:


Fisheries and aquaculture provide food and economic security, especially in the developing world, but both face challenges from infectious disease. We approach disease management through a structured-decision-making perspective. For both wild fisheries and aquaculture, management objectives generally aim to mitigate the severity and economic burden of disease outbreaks. In wild fisheries, options include regulating harvests, reducing system connectivity, and habitat conservation or improvement. In aquaculture, options include using pharmacological treatments, biocontrol strategies, bio-secure facilities and controlling density or increasing disease resistance through selective breeding. Developing and implementing disease-management strategies involve considering uncertainties and balancing competing stakeholder interests and risk tolerances; therefore, management strategies have tended to vary greatly depending on each unique situation. Although a transferable multipurpose solution to managing disease is unlikely for diverse fisheries and aquaculture enterprises, we suggest a path forward that could be broadly relevant to decision makers facing issues related to disease.