Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission

The Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission (the Aquatic Animals Commission), created in 1960, is responsible for ensuring that the Aquatic Animal Health Code (the Aquatic Code) and Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals (the Aquatic Manual) reflect current scientific information.

The Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission (the Aquatic Animals Commission), created in 1960, is responsible for overseeing developments of the Aquatic Animal Health Code (the Aquatic Code) and Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals (the Aquatic Manual) and ensuring that they reflect current scientific information.

The Aquatic Animals Commission comprises six members, who are elected by the World Assembly of Delegates for a three-year term. The members are internationally recognised specialists with a broad understanding of the major diseases of aquatic animals addressed by the Aquatic Code and with expertise in surveillance, diagnosis, prevention and control of aquatic animal diseases or methods, welfare of farmed fish, and experience in international trade in aquatic animals and aquatic animal products.

The Aquatic Animals Commission collaborates closely with the Code Commission and Biological Standards Commission for scientific expertise as well as to ensure harmonised approaches, as appropriate.

The Internal rules, Terms of reference of the Aquatic Animals Commission and Qualifications of its members can be found in the Basic Texts (pp. 6-7):

Aquatic Animals

To learn more about the importance of aquatic animals and the WOAH Aquatic Animal Health Strategy 2021-2025:

Aquatic animal health and welfare

Aquatic animals play a key role in achieving a more prosperous and secure world, contributing to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Aquatic Animals Health Strategy

From 2021-2025, this Strategy will improve aquatic animal health and welfare worldwide, contributing to sustainable economic growth, poverty alleviation and food security, thereby supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Contact us

  • Dr. Ingo Ernst

    President, Aquatic Animals Commission; Director Aquatic Pest and Health Policy


  • Dra. Alicia Gallardo Lagno

    Vice-President, Aquatic Animals Commission; Senior Adviser FARMAVET


  • Dr. Fiona Geoghegan

    Vice-President, Aquatic Animals Commission; Legislative Officer


  • Dr Espen Rimstad

    Professor in virology


  • Dr. Hong Liu

    Deputy Director


  • Dr. Kevin William Christison

    Specialist Scientist


Emerging disease

Standard Operating Procedure for determining whether an aquatic animal disease should be considered an emerging disease: SOP.

Technical disease cards

Summary of susceptible species


A systematic approach to review the lists of susceptible species was initiated in 2015. Potential host species were assessed against Chapter 1.5. Criteria for listing species as susceptible to infection with WOAH listed diseases to determine susceptibility to infection. Those species assessed as susceptible and adopted by the World Assembly are listed in the relevant Article X.X.2 of the Aquatic Code. The assessments also identified susceptible species with incomplete evidence which are included in the relevant Sections 2.2.1. and 2.2.2. of the Aquatic Manual.  

All assessments are undertaken by WOAH ad hoc Groups and are published on the WOAH website.  

Note: On occasions, the list of susceptible species provided in the  Aquatic Code and Aquatic Manual may differ from the assessments provided in an ad hoc Group report because reassessments may have been undertaken due to new scientific information. These assessments and decisions are only reported in the reports of the Aquatic Animals Commission


The objective of these documents is to provide all relevant information in one place about the assessments undertaken for each host species assessed, whether by an ad hoc Group or the Aquatic Animals Commission including a link to where the assessment for that species can be found and the year of adoption for any changes to the species listed in the Aquatic Code and Aquatic Manual.  

This document is updated on an annual basis to reflect any changes adopted at the WOAH General Session each May.  

Note: As of October 2023 the assessments for 26 of the 31 listed diseases have been completed and the remaining work is in progress expected to be completed by 2025. 

The purpose of this template (in PDF in Word) is to provide pre-publication validation data so that Aquatic Animals Commission can consider inclusion of proposed tests in the WOAH Aquatic Manual. Only tests that have been validated to level 2 will be considered for inclusion in the Aquatic Manual. If the proposed assay is accepted for inclusion in the Aquatic Manual.

Before filling in this form and submitting an application, applicants should consult Chapter 1.1.2 of the WOAH Aquatic Manual

Please consult validated report:

Other Reports