There are two global objectives of BC CAHS:
- Increase the economic value of BC marine industries by offering sound, managed fish health sciences in the areas of diagnostics, wild and farmed fish health assessment, disease monitoring, prevention and control, and on-farm/delivery chain food safety.
- Educate and train fish health professionals, facilitate independent research initiatives, address industry needs for applied level of investigation, promote linkages and associations to other fish health and food safety organizations and institutions.
BC CAHS will deliver on these objectives by the formation of the following units:
- Diagnostic and Laboratory Services Unit to serve as a focus of directed fish health activities, including wild and farmed fish interactions, National Aquatic Animal Health Program (NAAHP) and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) surveillance, industry priority investigations.
- Food Safety Unit to address issues of food safety throughout the product delivery chain, support on-farm food safety program development and implementation, industry priority and public interest, e.g. anti-microbial resistance, residues.
- Research Unit to conduct and support research at the levels of a) short-term or investigative projects, and b) linkage and association with Provincial, Federal and academic institutions for peer-review level research.
- Contract Research Unit to design and conduct fish health research under contract to companies in various sectors, including: pharmaceutical, biologics, nutrition, aquaculture, oil and gas.
- Extension and Communication Unit to assist with extension services, animal welfare issues, current public and government perceptions/concerns by communication with industry, government and the public.
Through the actions of these units, BC CAHS will contribute to sound industry methods and practices that will serve to prevent and manage health concerns and environmental impacts. In this way, BC CAHS will play a major role in:
- Assessing the baseline status of fish health for wild and captive fisheries
- Addressing key scientific, political and social concerns regarding the potential impacts of aquaculture, wild/farmed fish interactions, resource extraction and environmental integrity
- Reducing the risk of economic and environmental losses in fish populations (wild and farmed) due to disease
- Optimizing cost of production through fish health management
- Ensuring export and food safety quality
- Providing opportunity and infrastructure to conduct research of a practical and applied nature
- Maintaining public confidence in the quality and safety of aquaculture and fisheries products