Only eight active pharmaceutical ingredients available in 18 drug products have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in aquaculture. The approval process can be lengthy and expensive.
As the demand for aquaculture products increases, so does the search for environmentally friendly alternatives to antibiotics. Alternatives to antibiotics include dietary prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics.
There is a widely promoted misconception that eating wild-caught fish is better for the oceans than eating farmed seafood. On a global basis, however, sustainably farmed fish may represent 60 times more efficient use of anchovies and other baitfish resources
The use of phages is an alternative to antibiotics in the control of pathogenic bacteria. Phage therapy offers low-cost, low-toxicity treatment and quick bactericidal effects.
Dietary organic acids can exert antimicrobial effects and benefit growth, nutrient utilization and other health parameters in tilapia.
Regulations on antibiotics in aquaculture vary by country and region, from outright bans to minimal oversight.
Policies to limit antibiotic use spurred interest in alternative strategies, such as dietary supplementation with immunostimulants and other compounds.
Farmed fish species often pose fewer food safety risk than wild-caught fish, but antibiotic residues used to treat disease outbreaks is a unique hazard.
When an antibiotic is administered, the usual effective dose may be insufficient to control an infection if the invasive microorganism has developed resistance.