Background: Antibiotics are used to treat disease in all forms of animal farming and the likelihood that pathogens will develop resistance to antibiotics may increase over time. Excessive use of antibiotics exacerbates this process and is, therefore, to be discouraged.
- Disease prevention is the best way to minimize the need for antibiotics. Good water quality combined with sound management practices, such as low stocking densities and use of high-quality feed help to keep fish healthy.
- Very few antibiotics are approved for use in food fish and any that are used are strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- The use of vaccines is another way to minimize the need for antibiotics. Vaccines have been especially effective in the salmon farming industry and the techniques developed with salmon are now applicable to other fish species.