The Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity Review (2017) identified a need for governments and industry to adopt a systematic approach to determining and planning for national priority pests and diseases of terrestrial and aquatic animals, plants and the environment.
Collaboratively developed by industry and governments through AQUAPLAN 2022–2027, the national priority aquatic animal disease list (priority disease list) includes the highest priority exotic aquatic animal diseases for industry and governments to target preparedness and risk mitigation activities.
Ten exotic aquatic animal diseases are included on the priority disease list. In no order, these are:
- Infection with viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHS)
- Infection with infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISA)
- Infection with infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus (ISKNV) a, including its 3 genotypes:
- Infection with infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus (ISKNV)
- Infection with red sea bream iridovirus (RSIV)
- Infection with turbot reddish body iridovirus (TRBV)
- Infection with scale drop disease virus (SDDV)
- Infection with Marteilia refringens
- Infection with Marteilioides chungmuensis
- Infection with Xenohaliotis californiensis (withering syndrome)
- Infection with white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) a,b
- Infection with Aphanomyces astaci (crayfish plague) a
- Infection with decapod iridescent virus 1 (DIV1)
Note: The priority disease list was endorsed by aquatic animal industry peak bodies, the Sub-Committee on Aquatic Animal Health, and Animal Health Committee in 2023.
a Diseases also included on the National Priority List of Exotic Environmental Pests, Weeds and Diseases.
b Diseases present within Australia are eligible for inclusion if they are the subject of official control and border measures are in place to mitigate the risk of entry and establishment.
These diseases are also included on Australia’s national list of reportable diseases of aquatic animals for surveillance and reporting purposes.
Biosecurity action plans
Biosecurity action plans are being developed for each disease on the priority disease list. These are concise action plans collaboratively developed by relevant industry sectors and governments. The plans assess the biosecurity risk management continuum of each disease (including surveillance, diagnostic capability, and preparedness, etc.) to identify any gaps and areas for improvement. These gaps or improvements will then be prioritised for action to address them.
Where a disease is included on both the national priority aquatic animal disease list and the National Priority List of Exotic Environmental Pests, Weeds and Diseases, a single action plan is developed.
Final biosecurity action plans for each disease will be made available on this webpage as they are developed.