The Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia–Pacific (NACA) is an intergovernmental organisation that promotes rural development through sustainable aquaculture and aquatic resource management.
NACA pioneered the development of an aquatic animal health network for the Asian region, drawing together governments and technical experts to share information on the detection, containment and management of diseases. The network pools technical expertise and laboratory facilities.
Through its Aquatic Animal Health Programme, NACA has been collaborating with the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) on the implementation of important aquatic animal health activities in the Asia–Pacific Region. One focus is aquatic animal disease reporting (in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), which was established in response to the need to develop a cohesive strategy for aquatic animal health management in the Region.
Through its more than 20 years of implementation, the network has become a useful mechanism for recognising emerging and important aquatic animal diseases as well as serving as a guide to participating countries in revising their national list of reportable diseases. It has also paved the way in the establishment of excellent regional networks to support disease surveillance and reporting.
NACA has also collaborated with WOAH on other important aquatic animal health management programmes in the Region, including emergency preparedness and response, aquatic animal trade and antimicrobial resistance. More recently, NACA fully supported WOAH’s Regional Collaboration Framework on aquatic animal health in Asia and the Pacific, wherein collaborative projects on emerging diseases and aquaculture biosecurity are being implemented.
Regional collaboration is especially vital in the overall management of aquatic animal health, as most of the important and emerging aquatic animal diseases are transboundary in nature. It is also instrumental in a more focused approach to specific health issues/problems and efficient implementation of appropriate management measures.