Disease in fish and shellfish is one of the main problems facing aquaculture production. Therefore, all attempts should be made to increase the rate of survival and, thus, reduce economic losses. Much has been done to develop vaccines and medical treatments to reduce mortality; and however, farming of aquatic species has a long way to go to optimize the environmental conditions for the animals and, thus, reduce stress and improve animal welfare. However, the good news is that there is the potential to increase disease resistance by selective breeding. By challenge-testing fingerlings from a number of families per generation, and including the rate of survival in the breeding goal, the results so far are very promising. By focusing on one disease at a time it is possible to increase the rate of survival by at least 12.5% per generation for most diseases studied. Unfortunately, selective breeding is only used to a small degree in aquatic species. In 2010, it was estimated that only 8.2% of aquaculture production was based on genetically improved stocks.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited