Comprehensive antimicrobial use monitoring and resistance surveillance is needed for fish and seafood
Eating fish once or twice a week is promoted as good for your health — but is there a downside as well? With the global decline in wild fish stocks, there is an ever-increasing demand for aquaculture-produced fish and other aquatic foods. The aquaculture industry is relatively new but is growing rapidly in Australia. Among the top species in terms of value of production are salmonids, tuna, prawns and edible oysters. Other farmed products include abalone, barramundi, yellowtail kingfish, mulloway and mussels. Aquaculture usually means farming the fish and other species at much higher densities than those found in their natural environments. Depending on the species, they are held in sea cages or offshore pontoons, onshore or estuarine ponds, racks and ropes or onshore tanks, dams and ponds. High stocking densities increase the risk of disease and hence the pressure to use antimicrobials. Antimicrobial use increases the risk to consumers of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in both locally produced and imported products.