Hatchery hygiene is of major significance due to the risk of contamination of cultures from outside sources. Strict hygiene protocols are necessary to maintain a pathogen-free, low risk rearing facility.
Biosecurity in the hatchery is maintained through an integrated management approach, and adhering to levels of quality in practice that provides the desired result. The biosecurity program encompasses these techniques:-1) Reducing the risk that pathogens will be introduced to the hatchery by –
i) Eliminating exposure to the creek, or through pumping, contact with raw creek water;
ii) Placing disinfection containers at all entrances with clear biosecurity signs and instructions;
iii) Transport tanks are power washed then disinfected before and after use;
iv) Access to the hatchery should be limited and visitors from other farm sites disallowed.
2) Reducing the risk that pathogens will spread throughout the facility –
i) Tanks in all sections are power washed then disinfected before and after use;
ii) Each unit in the hatchery should be washed with a solution of chlorine regularly before work in another unit is undertaken;
iii) Each unit has its own supply of equipment eg. nets, buckets etc.;
iv) Equipment from separate units are to be washed in freshwater and sun dried after use;
v) Disinfection points should be applicable to each unit.
3) Reducing the conditions that can enhance susceptibility to infection and disease –
i) Broodstock and larvae should not be subjected to stress arising from excessive densities, poor water quality or poor husbandry;
ii) The different stages in the life cycle of each species and the conditions required for each stage are given deference;
iii) Regular microscopic health checks are undertaken and appropriate disease treatments administered;
iv) A commitment to the provision of quality feeds and feed levels at the appropriate larval stages;
v) The proper storage of supplementary feeds;
vi) Broodstock are held in a quarantine period of five days before inducement of spawning;
vii) Maturation tanks are rigorously swept clean of uneaten feed, waste substances and exoskeletons.