Australia has a world-leading system of contingency planning arrangements for aquatic animal diseases. Yet, there is an ongoing need to test these arrangements to ensure they remain fit for purpose.
“Ready Set Go! Preparing for Emergency Disease Outbreaks in Aquatic Animals” is a national simulation exercise program. Identified as a national priority under AQUAPLAN 2022-2027 activity 5.3, the program will deliver a series of national sector-specific, discussion-based emergency response exercises.
The program aims to improve industry and government preparedness, in particular, preparedness to respond to nationally significant exotic animal disease outbreaks. This will help prevent, or minimise the impacts of, exotic diseases on profitability and productivity. There are national preparedness arrangements in place that outline technical response arrangements, for example, the AQUAVETPLAN response manuals. But many of these arrangements are yet to be used in a real-life response.
The Ready Set Go program addresses the need to test existing response arrangements. It will focus on some nationally important exotic diseases. The program will increase industry and government’s shared understanding of:
- their responsibilities during a response, and
- the capabilities that they can bring to a response.
Each exercise will focus on technical response arrangements. Industry and government stakeholders will collaborate to shape each exercise. The program will also build national preparedness capability among industry and governments. Staff will have the opportunity to take part in exercise planning and evaluation.
The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation funded the program (FRDC project 2021-048).
Exercise FlyWheel (2023) was the first simulation exercise conducted under the program. It was in held collaboration with the barramundi industry. It aimed to test the technical response arrangements for an exotic disease outbreak.
A link to the final report for the exercise will be provided here once complete.
For further information contact the Aquatic Pest and Health Policy section at: email@example.com.