India: The Central Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory of Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA) has become the first aquaculture pathology laboratory in the country accredited by the National Accreditation Board For Testing & Calibration Laboratories (NABL) as per ISO/IEC 17025: 2005.
The state-of-the-art lab was established by RGCA, the R&D arm of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), in Sirkali, Tamil Nadu in September 2011.
This laboratory has been serving the aquaculture industry of the country by providing timely and reliable diagnosis of various diseases encountered during the culture of finfish, shrimp and freshwater prawns.
It is equipped with all the latest disease diagnostic tools and has three component units for molecular pathology, histopathology and microbiology which together helps in diagnosis of various diseases encountered by the aquaculture industry.
The laboratory has been routinely engaged in screening/diagnosis of 16 crustacean (shrimp/crab) pathogens including OIE listed pathogens and three finfish pathogens.
In addition, it conducts periodical and need based aquaculture disease surveillance in India for the benefit of the seafood export industry. All the known diseases affecting shrimp/prawn/fish are diagnosed at this lab, including the recently emerged dreaded shrimp disease known as early mortality syndrome (EMS)/acute hepatopancreatic necrosis dsease (AHPND).
The laboratory has been successfully participating in proficiency testing conducted by the Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory, University of Arizona, US (a World Organization for Animal Health [OIE] reference laboratory for crustacean diseases).
MPEDA highlights that with the accreditation, the lab has become the only facility for aquaculture disease diagnosis.