The aim of the Aquatic Animal Health Code (Aquatic Code) is to assure the sanitary safety of international trade in aquatic animals (fish, molluscs and crustaceans) and their products. This is achieved through the detailing of health measures to be used by the veterinary authorities of importing and exporting countries to avoid the transfer of agents pathogenic for animals or humans, while avoiding unjustified sanitary barriers.
The health measures in the Aquatic Code (in the form of standards, guidelines and recommendations) have been formally adopted by the OIE International Committee. The 7th edition incorporates the modifications to the Aquatic Code agreed during the 72nd General Session in May 2004. These include revised chapters on the following subjects: general definitions, Disease listing and notification criteria, notification and epidemiological information, obligations and ethics in international trade, Aquatic animal health measures applicable before and at departure, Aquatic animal health measures applicable on arrival, General recommendations on disinfection and the model international aquatic animal health certificates.
The purpose of the Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals (the Aquatic Manual) is to provide a uniform approach to the diagnosis of the diseases listed in the Aquatic Code, so that the requirements for health certification in connection with trade in aquatic animals and aquatic animal products, can be met.
Although many publications exist on the diagnosis and control of aquatic animal diseases, the Aquatic Manual is a key document describing the methods that can be applied to the OIE-listed diseases in aquatic animal health laboratories all over the world, thus increasing efficiency and promoting improvements in aquatic animal health world-wide.
The Aquatic Code and the Aquatic Manual are both available online, for free.