The edible fish industry’s annual production reaches about twenty five thousand tons, and includes various fish species. Their cultivation is spread across specialized branches (monoculture): cold water fish (Salmonids), warm water fish (Tilapia, Carps, Mullet and more), or polyculture cultivation (the cultivation of various species together). Alongside the fresh water cultivation, there are also sea water cultivations which include the production of Denisse (Gilt-Head Bream), European Seabass and Meagre (Argyrosomus). In total, here are about seventy active farms in this industry.
Another field which has been rapidly growing in recent years is the cultivation of ornamental fish, mostly intended for export purposes. In total, there are about fifty farms working in this field, some of which cultivate cold water ornamental fish, while others cultivate tropical fish.
Since fish diseases are, for the most part, related specifically to the species of fish, the temperature of the body of water and the specifics of the cultivating habitat, the Israeli fish industry is the most heterogeneous when it comes to disease variety out of all of the animal industries in Israel.
Since fish are vertebrate, they fall under the jurisdiction of the Animal Disease Ordinance (New version) 1985, and the jurisdiction of the Animal Disease Regulations (Animal importation) 1974. In 1996 Professor Arnon Shimshony, who was then the director of the Veterinary Services, decided on the creation of a laboratory for fish diseases within the Kimron Veterinary Institute. The initial tasks of the laboratory included the tracking and monitoring of diseases (existing and emerging) which have a national effect, and the creation of a system for their diagnosis. Later on, the laboratory was tasked with statutory roles which include tracking and reporting registered diseases, issuing import permits, and activities related to the prevention of the spread of fish diseases performed together with enforcement activities.
For more information:Nadav Davidovich, DVM, MVPH - Fish Health Veterinary OfficerOffice Phone: +972-3-9681728Fax: +972-153-50-6241511Email: Nadavd@moag.gov.il