Biosecurity has been identified as a core concept for Asian freshwater aquaculture for purposes of food safety, aquaculture sustainability, and trade. To our knowledge, no published studies have evaluated producers’ knowledge of biosecurity and biosecurity practices in Chinese aquaculture. We carried out a questionnaire-based knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) survey of farmers culturing yellow catfish in Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces in China. Yellow catfish is a freshwater fish with high market value, and is mostly cultured in ponds on small-scale farms. The purpose of the survey was to evaluate biosecurity practices currently applied on those freshwater farms. Eighty-seven farmers in Guandong (nï¿½=ï¿½44) and Zhejang (nï¿½=ï¿½43) were interviewed, and 50 (57.5%) farmers completed responses to all KAP questions. Demographics of participating farmers and their responses to each question were described. We developed a KAP index to categorize and subcategorize KAP questions, and assigned scores to farmers’ original answers to each question. Every farmer was evaluated with both numeric scores for their farm-level biosecurity and with score categories of “Good” (≥ï¿½75%), “Fair” (50% to 75%), and “Poor” (<ï¿½50%). Results of this study indicated that: (1) farmers’ basic knowledge of pathogens was good, but their understanding of pathogen transmission was limited; (2) overall scores for attitude towards biosecurity were slightly higher than practices scores, although they were still relatively low; and (3) all farmers were classified as poor or fair for their compliance with overall farm-level biosecurity measures. Our findings showed that: farmers’ practices were mostly not in compliance with the principles of biosecurity, especially in regards to prevention of pathogen introduction and spread; and the inconsistencies between practices and attitudes indicated that it may be feasible to improve farmer's implementation of aquatic biosecurity at the farm level. Biosecurity concepts evaluated in the study were based on salmonid aquaculture and their relevance to biosecurity measures of catfish aquaculture in China should be explored in future research. We recommend that current farm-level biosecurity practices in finfish aquaculture in China be improved through investment in education and training, in collaboration with academic and industry partners. Statement of relevance Chinese yellow catfish producers need additional guidance on the importance and implementation of biosecurity principles for pond systems.
- Knowledge attitudes practices
- Pond aquaculture
- Yellow catfish (Pelteobagrus fulvidraco)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science