June 14, 2024


Kyrgyzstan develops national plan to combat fish diseases with FAO support



Kyrgyzstan, with support from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), is developing a national action plan for controlling fish diseases.


"Aquaculture is a relatively new production system in Kyrgyzstan compared to livestock or agriculture," said Kuvatbek Bapaev, acting FAO deputy representative in Kyrgyzstan and an FAO technical adviser. "Therefore, there is a need for better management of intensive systems. This will avoid risks related to biosafety, fish health, and consequent losses."


This plan is being formulated in collaboration with the Ministry of Water Resources, Agriculture, and Processing Industry of Kyrgyzstan under the FAO project "Support of the trout production sector to improve the protection of fish health and compliance with phytosanitary standards in fish farms." Launched in January 2024, the project is part of an FAO emergency assistance programme in Kyrgyzstan.


The plan aims to prevent epizootic fish diseases and includes strategy and management methods. These and other issues were discussed at a consultation meeting held on May 23 in Bishkek, attended by representatives of the State Veterinary Service, the Department of Fisheries, universities, associations, and other partners.


"The upward trend in fish consumption will continue over the next decades," said Haydar Fersoy, a senior fisheries and aquaculture officer with FAO. "However, increasing demand for fish requires improvements in fish farming practices and the development of the aquaculture sector. I am convinced that through this project, we will be able to improve the understanding of farmers, veterinarians, and representatives of specialized institutions regarding fish health problems, early detection, and successful treatment of diseases of trout and other fish species."


Experts said that preventing diseases is more effective than treating them. One crucial factor in reducing antibiotic use in aquaculture is the availability of good prophylactic measures for diseases that can cause severe mortalities in cultured fish.


The project supports fish farms through best practices in fish health management, biosafety, and production planning. These measures can improve product quality and increase production volumes.


"Fish are one of the most important and useful products in the food basket of the people in Kyrgyzstan," said Edil Niyazov, director of the Kyrgyzstan Fisheries Department. "Fish are an excellent source of protein and essential micronutrients. But the growing demand for fish requires sound management of fish stocks and the development of the aquaculture sector."


As part of these efforts, international FAO experts conducted biosafety and fish health management trainings in Bishkek and in the Issyk-Kul and Osh regions from May 20 to 30. These trainings aimed to help farmers and veterinarians better understand various aspects of fish diseases, identify disease vectors, implement timely preventive measures, and produce healthy fish. The knowledge gained will help farmers improve product quality and increase production volumes.


-      Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

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