The development of aquaculture in Sabah is rapidly gaining pace as more and more investors realised the many potentials of the local industry. However, the development must be tempered with prudent environmental management as well as the prevention of fish and aquatic diseases.
The fish health program of the Department is comprised of 3 main components as follows:
- Management and prevention of fish disease.
- Technical service with respect to fish disease and related waters.
- Control of the import of live fish.
The management of fish disease is provided for essentially in Part V of the Sabah Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Enactment 2005. This empowers the Department to take containment measures and prevent the spread of fish disease if an outbreak occurs. This law also places a number of obligations on the farm owner where the disease occurs. The prevention of fish disease is also supported by implementing the Quarantine Regulations under the Fisheries Act, 1985 as well as the above-mentioned Enactment.
The Department also regulates the importation of live fish. At times, the Department will ban the import of live fish from certain source/countries if disease epidemics occur in these places. The Department also helps aquaculturists in the prevention and management of fish disease in their farms. These include advising them on preventive measures, containment methods, disease identification as well as treatments.