SeaBOS aims to minimise antibiotics use by improving overall health management in aquaculture, adopting preventative practices, and implementing a Code of Conduct for responsible antibiotics use. Through data collection, enhanced farm management practices, disease diagnostics, and the development of preventative strategies and resources like vaccines, we strive to promote transparency and accountability. We work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, including pharmaceutical companies, veterinarians, intergovernmental agencies, and government departments, to develop and improve stewardship and alternatives to antibiotics.
In the concerted effort to reduce antibiotic use in aquaculture, SeaBOS member companies have leveraged collective initiatives and individual actions. A standout example in Japan involves Nissui, Maruha Nichiro, and Kyokuyo.
This collaboration has the companies joining forces with pharmaceutical company Kyoritsu Seiyaku, government agencies, and the Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency. Their collective aim is to reduce antibiotic use and develop vaccines that enable transfer away from HPCIAs.
Thai Union has undertaken a project to advocate responsible antibiotic use among Thai shrimp farms, underpinned by a stringent quality assurance system and a policy prohibiting the use of WHO-listed critical antibiotics. They’ve also implemented the SeaBOS tools, such as the Code of Conduct, in their risk management procedures.
Skretting has undertaken an awareness project in Vietnam, focusing on the responsible use of antibiotics and addressing antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This project includes training and a medicine calculator app to provide appropriate dosing recommendations.
Cargill focuses on continuous development of feeds that enhance animal health and welfare, thereby reducing the need for medicated treatments. Antibiotics are only applied in feeds under direction of a veterinary prescription.
Cermaq invests in vaccine research for salmonid diseases and screens broodfish against pathogens, only resorting to antibiotics when prescribed by a veterinarian.
Antibiotic use has contributed to the spread of antimicrobial resistance, an emerging public health crisis estimated by the United Nations to result in up to 10 million deaths annually by 2050. While antibiotics enable greater food production and have importance for animal welfare, considerable scope exists to limit usage by reducing misuse and over-application around the world. Over longer timeframes, the development of vaccines can reduce dependency on antibiotics; in Norway, for instance, vaccines have resulted in the virtual elimination of antibiotics in salmon aquaculture production. Over 600 species are in aquaculture production around the world, but vast gaps exist in knowledge about the quantity and type of antibiotics used in these diverse production systems, hampering action and progress.
The improper use of antibiotics in aquaculture results in the loss of efficacy of antimicrobials crucial for human healthcare. Focusing on reducing and eventually eliminating the need for Critically Important Antimicrobials for Human Medicine, as identified by the World Health Organization is a crucial priority. A focus on responsible antibiotic use and overall health management is indispensable to ensure the sustainable future of the aquaculture industry. Companies can contribute by providing transparent accessibility of data, engaging in vaccine development, and contributing to eliminating vast knowledge gaps about the frequency and prevalence of antimicrobial resistant genes in production systems around the world.
Nissui, Maruha Nichiro and Kyokuyo are working together with Japanese government oﬃces and the pharmaceutical industry in Japan to reduce antibiotics use and develop vaccines that enable a transfer away from the use of highest priority critically important antibiotics (HPCIA).
The SeaBOS Antibiotics Code of Conduct provides strategies for maintaining ﬁsh health and welfare
and reducing use of antibiotics through preventative practices and interventions. Furthermore, the SeaBOS Antibiotic Stewardship Roadmap guides members in the phasing out of HPCIA and CIA in line with World Health Organization (WHO) standards.
Contributing to the elimination of IUU fishing and forced labour in seafood production, and mitigating the impacts on endangered species.
Healthy ocean ecosystems and rich biodiversity are vital components of ocean stewardship. This Task Force focuses on developing practices that minimize impacts of seafood production on endangered species, and to develop solutions that enhance marine ecosystems.
To work with governments towards sustainable seafood production, as well as mechanisms to reduce antibiotics in aquaculture.
To identify global solutions to the impacts of climate change on sustainable seafood production, as well as the ability of seafood production for humanity, along with a healthy ocean, to play a role in the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change impacts.