Identifying aquatic animal health challenges in 10 minutes or less

Eric Ignatz
October 26, 2018
By Eric Ignatz
Justin Moore. Photo: Synapse
Justin Moore. Photo: Synapse
During the 8th International Symposium on Aquatic Animal Health (ISAAH) hosted in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, in September, a special industry session focused on bringing industry and research representatives together to help highlight ongoing concerns both groups are interested in solving.  

The event was organized by Synapse, a non-profit organization located on the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) campus whose role is to drive the transformation of UPEI research expertise into innovation that creates economic and social value. A panel consisting of members from AquaBounty Canada, Gallant Custom Laboratories Inc., RPS Biologiques and led by Dr. Larry Hammell from UPEI, each started the session off with a brief presentation discussing their company’s current goals of solving a problem related to aquatic animal health.

Vaccine development was a major topic throughout the event, with emphasis on the struggle that manufacturers have in identifying which diseases research should focus on first and how to make those vaccines cost-effective for producers. The need to increase collaboration and communication between government regulatory agencies and producers was also discussed, mentioning that it can be difficult to balance safety versus the needs of industry. AquaBounty presented on using recirculating aquaculture technology as a means of disease prevention, highlighting that a robust biosecurity plan is necessary for any operation to be successful.

An ongoing hurdle seems to be that while industry and academia want to solve the same problems, negotiating the collaboration can become a complex issue when intellectual property is involved. However, the idea of opening those negotiations and balancing the needs of both groups seemed to be an idea that everyone in attendance supported.

Dr. Justin Moore, CEO of Synapse, explains why they wanted to host this type of session, “As an organization that solves problems for researchers and industry through collaborative innovation, we wanted conference delegates to start their week by sharing key ‘pain points’ they might currently have in common, which would naturally flow into the partnering meetings… and we’re very pleased to see a number of researchers and industry representatives connecting for further discussions following the session.”

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