Animal Health and Biosecurity

Our research helps to improve the health, welfare and biosecurity of our aquatic animals.

Cawthron-AQ-Animal Health and Biosecurity mobile banner

Animal Health and Biosecurity

Our research helps to improve the health, welfare and biosecurity of our aquatic animals.

Our scientists are experts in improving the health, welfare and biosecurity of our aquatic animals to the benefit of New Zealand’s economy and environment. We provide independent aquatic disease diagnostic commercial services, pest and disease risk assessments and pharmaceutical trial services to clients in New Zealand and the Pacific.

Aquatic Disease Diagnostic Commercial Services

Our Aquatic Disease Diagnostic Commercial Services encompass health assessment and pathogen detection using an optimum mix of conventional and novel methods. We use predictive models that integrate these diagnostic methods to characterise ‘normal’ health and identify the causal linkages between host, pathogen and environment during disease progression. Finally, we provide management solutions that draw upon the diagnosis and predictive steps, to develop prevention and early warning surveillance solutions to aquaculture health problems.

Cawthron-AQ-Aquatic Disease Diagnostic Commercial Services

Aquaculture Biosecurity

Cawthron works closely with the aquaculture industry to mitigate and manage marine pest and disease issues.

Current projects include:

  • research into the biology and management of the oyster herpes virus (OsHV-1)
  • characterisation of biofouling patterns and environmental drivers on mussel and salmon farms
  • development of novel mitigation tools to manage problematic pests
  • development of tools to manage industry risk pathways (e.g. seed-stock transfers)
  • assessment of existing and emerging pest and disease threats to New Zealand shellfish aquaculture.

Cawthron-AQ-Aquaculture Biosecurity-biofouling ropes

Pest and Disease Risk Assessments

We provide aquaculture industry clients with in-depth analyses of the risks represented by aquatic pests and diseases. We are experts in the development of mitigation and management strategies that employ the fundamental principles of pathway management and good monitoring and reporting practices. This safeguards our industry against incursions by new pathogens or disease outbreaks caused by those already present in New Zealand’s marine environment.

    Cawthron-AQ-Pest and Disease Risk Assessments

    Pharmaceutical trials

    Cawthron is equipped to conduct pharmaceutical trials for finfish and shellfish, including all three of New Zealand’s key aquaculture species (mussels, oysters and salmon). 

    Cawthron-AQ-Pharmaceutical trials