An historical perspective on ICES studies of diseases of marine and diadromous animals
Before 1950, many of today’s familiar diseases of fish and shellfish were unidentified. Much of our current knowledge has been generated as a result of commercial practices of holding captive animals live for sale to consumers and increasingly from the attempts to culture many fish and invertebrate species. The formal and substantive entry of ICES into the diseases field is associated with the increasing importance of mariculture in Member Countries. This resulted in the formation of the Working Group on Introductions and Transfers of Marine Organisms (WGITMO) in 1969. the Working Group on Pathology and Diseases of Marine Organisms (WGPDMO) in 1976, and the Mariculture Committee in 1978. The activities of WGITMO over the past 30 years resulted in a Code of Practice for Introductions and Transfers which, if followed assiduously by Member Countries and others, should markedly reduce or virtually eliminate problems arising from deliberate introductions and transfers. Currently, attention is focused on introduction problems stemming from release of ballast waters. The WGPDMO has concentrated on three major topics: 1 ) diseases associated with culture operations, 2) assessment of the impact of diseases on natural populations, especially those fished commercially, and 3) fundamental approaches to determine whether diseases of wild fish can be used to trace contaminants and assess pollution (biological effects monitoring), with pioneering work in development, standardization, and calibration of methods. In all of these activities, there has been a logical progression in the development of the field of pathobiology in which ICES has played a major role in developing more relevant approaches to diseases of marine and diadromous animals.
Article from Marine Science Symposia Vol. 215 - 100 years of science under ICES. To access the remaining articles please click on the keyword "MSS Vol. 215".