The Aquatic Animal Health and Biosecurity Subprogram (AAHBS) was established to ensure the productivity and profitability of aquatic animal industries and to protect aquatic environments through research and development.

The Subprogram plays a pivotal role in leading national aquatic animal health and biosecurity-related research, guiding FRDC-funded R&D to address the objectives outlined in AQUAPLAN – Australia’s national strategic plan for aquatic animal health – and the priorities identified through industry consultation. The Subprogram also engages with industry sectors, research and diagnostic agencies to identify aquatic animal health and biosecurity related priorities.

The Subprogram is managed by an expert steering and scientific committee who identify and prioritise the R&D needed to support the sustainable growth of the Australian seafood industry.


AQUAPLAN is Australia’s National Strategic Plan for Aquatic Animal Health 2021–2026. The strategy outlines the objectives, projects, emergency preparedness and response arrangements for the management of aquatic animal health in Australia.

AQUAPLAN was developed and formally endorsed by the Commonwealth and State/Territory governments and the private sector. The development of AQUAPLAN and the implementation of its projects are overseen by the Ministerially appointed Fish Health Management Committee (FHMC).


  • Tracey Bradley (Chair),
  • Joanne Slater
  • Ingo Ernst
  • Jeremy Carson
  • Steve Percival
  • Cecile Dang (Science Advisory Committee)
  • Ian Anderson (Science Advisory Committee)
  • Ellen Ariel (Science Advisory Committee)
  • Nick Moody (Science Advisory Committee)

AAHBS Contact

Nick Moody, Subprogram Leader – (E:

FRDC Management Contacts

Wayne Hutchinson – FRDC Portfolio Manager (T: +61 2 6122 2153; E:
Carolyn Stewardson – FRDC Portfolio Manager (T: +61 2 6122 2119; E:

Additional information

The AAHBS produces a Health Highlights Newsletter:

White Spot Disease Update

White Spot Disease (WSD) is an internationally notifiable disease of crustaceans caused by White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV). On 22 November 2016, a WSSV incursion was first reported in Black Tiger Prawns (Penaeus monodon) grown on a prawn farm taking water from the Logan River, SE QLD.

In response, a large bank of research has been undertaken to address the outbreak of WSD. This research can be found on the White Spot Disease page.

Aquatic Animal Diseases Identification Field Guide 5th Edition

The Aquatic Animal Diseases Identification Field Guide 5th Edition has been developed to aid the identification of aquatic diseases in Australia.

The field guide is also available as a mobile app, allowing users to search and learn about aquatic animal diseases that affect finfish, molluscs, crustaceans and amphibians. The app can be freely downloaded through the App Store or Google Play.

Related Websites

Related projects