Improving Biosecurity and Managing Catfish and Tilapia Diseases in Nigerian Aquaculture

5 Jul 9:00 am

Virtual (Zoom)

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A man and woman speak with a female aquaculture farmer near her ponds in Delta State, Nigeria
The Improving Biosecurity team conducts a field visit in Delta State, Nigeria. Photo by Arnold Irabor

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The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish and Aquaculture Africa Magazine (AAM) bring you a set of four exciting and informative webinars that will unpack important lessons from the Fish Innovation Lab's activities in Nigeria. Join global experts as they present and discuss key aspects related to the Nigerian Aquaculture Sector and provide an opportunity for questions and interaction.

In this third event of the series, the team working on the Improving Biosecurity in Catfish and Tilapia Production activity will discuss how they are working with aquaculture stakeholders in Nigeria to improve aquatic animal health and biosecurity management.

Nigeria is one of Africa’s largest aquaculture producers, with catfish and tilapia being the two major farmed species, yet its lack of a clear aquatic animal health strategy has resulted in substantial disease-related production losses. There is little or no biosecurity management practiced at the production level, except by a few large-scale commercial farms. Our project aims to better understand the farming risk factors leading to fish mortality, health status, and economics of catfish and tilapia from hatchery seed production to the grow-out phase in a regional model using Ogun and Delta states. In this webinar you will learn about the main farming practices used in several farm clusters in the two states.  We will present laboratory findings on pathogens of economic significance circulating in those farming systems.  New online learning tools for better health management and improved biosecurity will be shared. Come and join us to find out more.



Opening remarks: Etienne Hinrichsen, Aquaculture Africa Magazine

Introduction to the Fish Innovation Lab: Mark Lawrence, Fish Innovation Lab

Project Introduction: Vishnumurthy Mohan Chadag, World Fish

Preliminary Findings From the Epidemiology Studey in Ogun and Delta States: Larry Hanson, Mississippi State University

Pathogens of Economic Significance Circulating in Nigerian Catfish and Tilapia Aquaculture Employing Laboratory Diagnostics: Olanike K. Adeyemo, University of Ibadan

Bacterial Whole Genome Sequencing: Jérôme Delamare-Deboutteville, WorldFish

Online Learning Tools for Better Health Management and Improved Biosecurity: Laura Khor, WorldFish



Mark Lawrence serves as the director of the Fish Innovation Lab.  He provides leadership and direction for its programs, coordinates its activities, and serves as the primary liaison with USAID. He also serves as director of the Mississippi State University Global Center for Aquatic Food Security. Before serving in this role, Lawrence served as the associate dean for research and graduate studies at the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine. He was also a professor of aquatic animal health and has been a tenure-track faculty member at the college since 1998. Lawrence earned his DVM from Texas A&M University and completed a PhD in aquatic animal health at Louisiana State University. 

Vishnumurthy Mohan Chadag is a principal scientist at WorldFish. WorldFish is part of One CGIAR, the world’s largest agricultural innovation network. Within WorldFish, he leads the aquatic animal health and one health research clusters.  He holds a PhD in aquatic animal pathology from the University of Stirling. His expertise includes nutrition-sensitive aquatic food systems; one health encompassing health of animals, environment, and people; epidemiology and surveillance; antimicrobial resistance; and biosecurity governance.  He comes from a strong academic background of 21 years at the College of Fisheries, University of Agricultural Sciences, Mangalore, India. Before joining WorldFish in April 2014, he worked for the Intergovernmental Network of Aquaculture Centres in the Asia Pacific (NACA) based in Bangkok for 11 years, supporting sustainable aquaculture and aquatic animal health R&D programs in 18 Asia Pacific countries.  

Larry Hanson is a professor at Mississippi State University, USA, and is an American Fisheries Society/Fish Health Section-Certified Fish Pathologist. He is involved in fish health research, teaching, and diagnostic service. Larry’s research includes molecular diagnostic methods, development of vaccines, and evaluating environmental factors that influence outbreaks of infectious diseases in warm water aquaculture. Hanson is the director of and a diagnostician in the Fish Diagnostic Laboratory.  He works directly with fish producers by diagnosing diseases, identifying predisposing factors, and suggesting preventative and therapeutic measures with an emphasis on responsible use of antimicrobials.

Olanike Adeyemo is a professor in the Fish and Wildlife Unit of the Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, University of Ibadan, and the in-country PI on the Fish Innovation Lab Aquaculture Biosecurity project. Her research scholarship is in One Health, pioneering innovative transdisciplinary research that cuts across traditional boundaries and paradigms to create novel conceptual, methodological, and translational innovation at the environment-livestock-wildlife-human interface, especially challenges that threaten human and animal health, food security, and the environments where diseases flourish.  She has executed several collaborative research projects, and consultancy services on aquatic and wildlife disease epidemiology, ecotoxicology, fish food safety, and climate change impact/vulnerability assessment on aquatic systems. 

Jérôme Delamare-Deboutteville is a scientist at WorldFish, working in the sustainable aquaculture department based in Penang, Malaysia. He is involved in a number of aquatic animal health collaborative projects in Asia and Africa on tilapia, carp, and catfish. Delamare-Deboutteville's work includes fish epidemiology and health economics studies, understanding drivers and small-scale farmer behavior that lead to excessive use of antimicrobials, surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in farming systems and wet-markets, and the development of novel rapid genomic detection methods of aquaculture pathogens. Before joining WorldFish, he lived in Australia for 10 years where he worked on multiple vaccine research projects for warm water fish species at the University of Queensland, where he received his PhD on an emerging bacterial disease affecting wild fish species in Australia.

Laura Khor is currently working as a research fellow at WorldFish Center, Penang. She received her bachelor of science in marine science and masters in aquaculture from Universiti Malaysia Sabah. She then served as a quality control manager at a private aquaculture company in Malaysia for 11 years before joining her current organization. Laura has research interests in aquatic animal health.


This is the third in a four-part webinar series sharing findings and lessons from Fish Innovation Lab activities in Nigeria. Click here for more details on the full series of events.