RIYADH: The Aquatic Animal Diseases Network in the Middle East was launched in Riyadh on Sunday by Saudi Arabia's Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Fadhli, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
To ensure the long-term expansion of the region's aquaculture industry, the network aims to strengthen the aquaculture sector, the importance of aquatic and marine species in food production and disease control.
In addition, it aims to train veterinarians and aquatic health experts alongside the efforts of global organizations offering services in aquatic health.
The Red Sea and Arabian Gulf bordering countries of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, UAE and Yemen are members of the network.
Member states will use the Fish Health and Safety Laboratory in Jeddah as a reference facility. Dr. Monique Eloit, Director-General of the World Organization for Animal Health, attended the launch of the network.
Saudi Arabia and the organization work together on a number of initiatives, including the Kingdom's rabies, foot-and-mouth disease, and Peste des Petits ruminant programs.
Additionally, they are collaborating on a project to assess the quality of state veterinary care as well as a veterinary laboratory twinning program with reference facilities in France and Italy.