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Control measures: fish diseases


Community measures have been adopted to combat certain fish diseases effectively in order to stop them spreading.


Council Directive 93/53/EEC of 24 June 1993 introducing minimum Community measures for the control of certain fish diseases [See amending acts].


This Directive establishes minimum Community measures for combating certain fish diseases in order to stop them spreading within the European Union (EU). It will be repealed on 1 August 2008 in accordance with the Directive on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof (See "related acts" below).

The diseases covered by the Directive are divided into two groups in accordance with the classification set out in the Directive on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof:

  • infectious salmon anaemia,
  • viral haemorrhagic septicaemia, haematopoietic necrosis, bonamiosis and marteiliosis.

All farms that have fish susceptible to these diseases must keep an up-to-date register listing all fish arriving, leaving or dying at the farm.

If fish are suspected of being infected with one of these diseases, Member States must inform the official service that is to carry out the investigations necessary to confirm or rule out the presence of the disease.

This official service must immediately place the farm under surveillance until the presence of the suspected disease has been ruled out.

If the disease is confirmed to be present, the official service must take a number of additional measures, such as removing all live fish, disinfecting the pools and disposing of the diseased fish.

If there are suspected cases of one of these diseases on an approved farm, Member States must carry out an epizootic investigation. If this confirms the presence of the disease, the farm is considered suspect and the appropriate measures must be applied.

Where fish on a non-approved farm are suspected of being infected with one of these diseases, Member States must take a number of measures, including taking steps to confirm whether or not the disease is present and drawing up a list of infected farms.

Each Member State must designate a reference laboratory to carry out the analyses required by this Directive. These laboratories must cooperate with the Community reference laboratory in Aarhus (Denmark), whose role is coordinate and provide assistance.

Commission experts may carry out on-the-spot checks to verify that this Directive is being properly applied.


ActEntry into force - Date of expiryDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 93/53/EEC19.7.19931.7.1994OJ L 175, 19.7.1993

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 2000/27/EC13.5.20001.12.2000OJ L 114, 13.5.2000
Decision 2001/288/EC10.4.2001-OJ L 99, 10.4.2001
Act of Accession of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia1.5.2004-OJ L 236, 23.9.2003
Decision 2006/911/EC12.12.2006-OJ L 346, 9.12.2006
Directive 2006/88/EC13.12.20071.5.2008OJ L 328, 24.11.2006
Directive 2006/104/EC1.1.2007-OJ L 363, 20.12.2006
Decision 2007/729/CE13.11.2007-OJ L 294, 13.11.2007


CouncilDirective 2006/88/ECof 24 October 2006 on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof, and on the prevention and control of certain diseases in aquatic animals [Official Journal L 328 of 24.11.2006].
This Directive updates, recasts and consolidates the animal health rules for trade in aquaculture products (fish, molluscs and crustaceans), including those on the prevention and control of diseases that affect these animals and products.

Commission Decision 2003/466/EC of 13 June 2003 establishing criteria for zoning and official surveillance following suspicion or confirmation of the presence of infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) [Official Journal L 156 of 25 June 2003].

Commission Decision 2001/183/EC of 22 February 2001 laying down the sampling plans and diagnostic methods for the detection and confirmation of certain fish diseases and repealing Decision 92/532/EEC [Official Journal L 67 of 9 March 2001].

Last updated: 22.04.2008

See also

For further information, please see the website of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection on the subject of trade in and importing of aquaculture animals, as well as the Community legislation on veterinary and zootechnical matters.

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