RSSBP Best Management Practices

1. Water treatment to prevent pathogen exposure during early life stage cultivation should employ a series of filters to get to 1µm filtration, or demonstrate another means to minimize the risk of pathogen exposure from source water (e.g., pasteurization, well water, etc.).

2. Adequate separation is required between untreated water and treated water to avoid cross contamination including physical separation of areas, water drainage, equipment, workflow, and cleaning.   

2-a. Physical separation of areas– Adult animals, i.e., broodstock, should be segregated from algal, larval, and post-set culture systems within the hatchery. If applicable, quarantine practices must be demonstrated for all non-local endemic species of broodstock.

2-b. Water drainage – Untreated water drainage must be collected/diverted in some manner (floor drains, etc.) to avoid spilling out on the floor where it could easily come in contact with clean equipment (hoses, buckets) or be tracked throughout the facility. 

2-c. Equipment – Equipment should be assigned to specific operational areas (e.g., containers used to transport adult animals should be used only for such tasks) or effectively sanitized between uses when shared.

2-d.  Workflow – Workflow and operational plans should be designed to prevent the introduction of raw water and contaminants from entering areas where cultivated life stages are in treated water.

2-e. Cleaning  – Cleaning of water filters or other water treatment apparatus should be conducted in an area separate from treatment areas or any areas containing treated water to avoid cross contamination.

3. Records should be kept for broodstock, spawning, and maintenance of systems used to eliminate POCs.

3-a.  Broodstock records must be maintained and document source location (source water), genetic background, and collection date. If applicable, quarantine practices must be documented for all non-local endemic species of broodstock.

3 – b. Spawning records must be maintained that document the specific broodstock used from the broodstock records, spawn code/name, and date spawned in order to accommodate any trace back from health certification results.

3-c. Maintenance records should be kept indicating maintenance of systems to eliminate POCs from source water (e.g., filter change regimes, relative “age” of all active filters).  Labels on equipment indicating maintenance are strongly recommended to alert all staff of needs.

4. Health examinations should be conducted on animals experiencing unexplained, atypical mortality and records kept. This maintains the Program’s ability to stay alert to possible emerging pathogens as well as POCs. The Shellfish Health Advisory Council must be notified of any disease issues that come up during Program participation including any actions taken to rectify the situation. 

5. All Federal, State and Local permitting requirements, such as obtaining hatchery facility permits must be followed.  Non-compliance with permitting requirements will result in removal of the hatchery from the RSSBP.

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