National Surveillance for Aquatic Animal Diseases

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency monitors for aquatic animal diseases and functions as the focal point for the collection, analysis and dissemination of surveillance data. The CFIA:

  • develops surveys and sampling plans to gather the required data used to evaluate the likelihood of disease freedom, or to detect a disease
  • develops and maintains sample collection procedures
  • analyzes the data in the context of disease freedom for the aquatic animal diseases at different levels  (country, zone (part of the country), or the individual facility) that is consistent with international standards set by the World Organisation for Animals Health (WOAH; founded as Office International des Épizooties (OIE)).

The CFIA gathers the required data by building relationships and fostering existing partnerships with

  • aquatic animal industries and other private organizations,
  • provincial and territorial governments,
  • aboriginal groups such as First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and
  • researchers in Canada and other countries.

To date, the CFIA conducts, in collaboration with other groups, surveillance for finfish diseases in British Columbia, Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. The CFIA also conducts collaborative surveillance for molluscan diseases in British Columbia and in the Atlantic area.

Samples collected under the surveillance program are tested by the National Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory System in Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) using testing protocols validated using international standards set by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH).

Results of surveillance activities are shared through quarterly and annual reports. This information facilitates access to domestic and international markets by providing the basis for health certification and domestic disease control measures. It also provides the necessary information for international reporting purposes, as required by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH). General inquiries about the program or request for reports should be directed the CFIA.

The CFIA also updates confirmed cases of Federally Reportable Aquatic Animal Diseases monthly. In order to receive these monthly updates, you are encouraged to subscribe to the Aquatic Animal Health Email Notification Services.