DAO 115:1-8 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02876

Using the Neptune project to benefit Australian aquatic animal health research

M. McNamara1,*, I. Ernst2, R. D. Adlard1

1Natural Environments Program, Queensland Museum, South Brisbane, Queensland 4101, Australia
2Australian Government Department of Agriculture, GPO Box 858, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Diseases of aquatic animals have had, and continue to have, a significant impact on aquatic animal health. In Australia, where fisheries and aquaculture are important industries, aquatic species have been subject to serious disease outbreaks, including pilchard herpesvirus, the cause of one of the largest wild fish kills ever recorded. At the same time, there is a consensus that Australia’s parasite fauna are largely unknown, and that aquatic animal health information is difficult to access. Managing aquatic animal diseases is challenging because they may be entirely new, their hosts may be new to aquaculture, and specialist expertise and basic diagnostic tools may be lacking or absent. The Neptune project was created in response to these challenges, and it aims to increase awareness of aquatic animal diseases, improve disease management, and promote communication between aquatic animal health professionals in Australia. The project consists of an online database, a digital microscopy platform containing a whole-slide image library, a community space, and online communications technology. The database contains aquatic animal health information from published papers, government reports, and other sources, while the library contains slides of key diseases both endemic and exotic to Australia. These assets make Neptune a powerful resource for researchers, students, and biosecurity officials.


KEY WORDS: Biosecurity · Australia · Aquatic animal health · Database


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Cite this article as: McNamara M, Ernst I, Adlard RD (2015) Using the Neptune project to benefit Australian aquatic animal health research. Dis Aquat Org 115:1-8. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02876

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