It is one of the most discussed topics of today: Climate change, and the associated rising sea levels, record-breaking temperatures across the globe, declining air quality and extreme weather patterns. This will also influence aquaculture, as most of the fish farming takes place in open water bodies. In other words: Aquaculture will become vulnerable in the future, due to these effects of climate change.
Changing disease dynamics
Climate change effects on aquaculture production can be unfolded in a direct and indirect way. Indirect dynamics may include disruption of input supplies or spikes in product prices. Microorganism overgrowth is an example of a direct effect (to the fish) and can lead to an increase in bacterial and parasitic diseases, high mortality rates in the animals and hence huge economic losses for the producer. According to a study by Karvonen et al from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, global warming may indeed impose severe risks for aquatic animal health if increasing water temperature leads to an increase in the incidence of diseases. The researchers analysed a time-series of disease dynamics on two fish farms in northern Finland from 1986 to 2006. This meta-analysis showed the annual mean water temperature increased significantly on both farms over the study period and that the increase was most pronounced in the late summer (July-September). Secondly, the researchers showed that the rising temperature increased the prevalence of some infections, such as the freshwater fish parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis and Flavobacterium columnare, the causative agent of Columnaris disease in freshwater species.
Efficacy and stability of a product = key
The prevention of pathogens and diseases, and the associated problems for fish welfare and end-product quality and safety, is controlled by strict hygiene rules that fish farmers must comply with. Fish farmers have been using disinfectants, in all forms, for many years already. But not all products are equivalent in performance and safety. At the same time, the aquaculture industry is constantly looking for more efficient production methods and a more sustainable / environmental way of working. This may rule out certain current water treatment solutions in the future. In addition, the aquaculture sector may be confronted with more challenges than today, related to the direct and indirect consequences of climate change and higher ambient and water temperatures. Choosing an effective and broad-spectrum solution to keep control of this all will therefore be more important than ever.
HALAMID®: Stable and effective under hot conditions
An effective water treatment solution should destroy pathogens effectively to prevent diseases and should be safe and stable in challenging conditions such as hot summers, which are now more of a rule than an exception, as a result of climate change. HalamidⓇ is a universal biocide, readily biodegradable, safe for humans, animals, and the environment. It is built on many years of expertise and works via an irreversible destruction of the envelope and cell material of microorganisms. The product is specifically recommended against parasitic diseases such as Amoebic gill disease (AGD), White spot and Costia, as well as bacterial diseases such as Vibrosis, Columnaris and Bacterial gill disease (BGD) and some viruses and fungi.
To test its stability during hot conditions, a study was performed with this biocide at 35 degrees Celsius and 85% relative humidity. The tests showed that after 120 days of storage during these hot summer conditions, the products packed in its original package did not change in weight or content, neither its performance was affected by such conditions. HalamidⓇ does not show any decomposition, even at temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius for a prolonged period.
The stability of Halamid® under hot conditions, combined with the easy and universal application against many pathogens, therefore makes it the disinfectant of choice for todays and future biosecurity challenges.