koiture: koi in koi pond at the innovation centre (Default)
I haven't written much on this blog for a while

Let's say that my thoughts on biosecurity has been refined over and over the past few months. Having gone through a conference in Europe and thinking about it, i think that I can articulate the tension between the government and farmers a little more clearly.

According to Mather and Marshall, one of the tensions that exist between the government body and farmers is due to the habits of farmers in managing disease - the conceptualization of disease is that farming practices that works with the seasons and animal body can minimize disease - that is, by being on the watch for disease symptoms during stressful months when ostriches are kept in higher densities, and undertaking action such as isolating them and feeding them more so they can recover. However, the concept of virulent avian flu comes from without the country. In addition to other external factors (such as ostriches switching from being farmed for purely ornamental products to being farmed for meat), handling of the disease became governmental regulated.

So too in Koi - the tension appeared, and grew, when KHV became a looming factor. Furthermore, this occurred barely 3 years after both SARS and Avian flu pandemics - both pandemics of foreign zoonotic origin, being of a global and international concern. In managing the diseases for Singapore, it is not surprising that AVA and MOH had to work together to handle these zoonotic diseases - and then, when KHV came up, AVA would apply the same biosecurity to koi.

The tension arises when the koi farmers are at odds with the strong and stringent criteria invoked against koi import regulations - ornamental fish in general are no longer allowed to be considered 'healthy' if they, for some reason, had encountered or were in contact with water from koi fish. Koi had been isolated and set apart from other ornamental fish.

It is almost like the koi industry had been quarantined from the rest of the ornamental industry.

And yet, judging from the trend and talking to ornamental fish farmers, ornamental fish itself is an industry that is dying - a "sunset industry" in singapore, also cut out and apart from the aquaculture and agricultural industry itself.

Maybe the mindset of biosecurity was just the beginning.

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koiture: koi in koi pond at the innovation centre (Default)
koiture

About this Blog

So this is a blog about my research into the history of koi aquaculture.

Singapore's aquaculture industry had always been about survival, and I would love to say that the ornamental fish industry had actually helped Singapore survive.

This blog will attempt to talk about how the industry helped Singapore, and then the various factors that influenced its decline, using koi rearing in Singapore as a case-study of the ornamental fish industry as a whole.

October 2016

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