One Health concept influences other important health/safety endeavors...

Occupational Health and Safety in Aquaculture: Insights on Brazilian Public Policies


Pedro Keller de Oliveira, Richard Souto Cavalli, Hiran Castagnino Kunert Filho, Daiane Carvalho, Nadine Benedetti, Marco Aurélio Rotta, Augusto Sávio Peixoto Ramos, Kelly Cristina Tagliari de Brito, Benito Guimarães de Brito, Andréa Ferretto da Rocha, Marcia Regina Stech, and Lissandra Souto Cavalli Journal of Agromedicine Vol. 22 , Iss. 2,2017


Aquaculture has many occupational hazards, including those that are physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic, and mechanical. The risks in aquaculture are inherent, as this activity requires particular practices. The objective of the present study was to show the risks associated with the aquaculture sector and present a critical overview on the Brazilian public policies concerning aquaculture occupational health. Methods include online research involved web searches and electronic databases including Pubmed, Google Scholar, Scielo and government databases. We conducted a careful revision of Brazilian labor laws related to occupational health and safety, rural workers, and aquaculture. The results and conclusion support the idea that aquaculture requires specific and well-established industry programs and policies, especially in developing countries. Aquaculture still lacks scientific research, strategies, laws, and public policies to boost the sector with regard to occupational health and safety. The establishment of a safe workplace in aquaculture in developing countries remains a challenge for all involved in employer-employee relationships.

“...The One Health concept (, when applied to aquaculture, includes aspects of human, animal, and environmental health, such as disease prevention (animal and human), food safety and nutrition, fish escapes, and environmental pollution.36 Gomaz JG, Fry JP, Erazo M, Love DC. Public health perspectives on aquaculture. Curr Environ Health Rep. 2014;1:227–238.[CrossRef], [PubMed][Google Scholar] The proposal to apply the One Health concept in aquaculture36 Gomaz JG, Fry JP, Erazo M, Love DC. Public health perspectives on aquaculture. Curr Environ Health Rep. 2014;1:227–238.[CrossRef], [PubMed][Google Scholar] is appropriate from an occupational health perspective because human health is closely linked to environmental and animal health. Under the One-Health umbrella (Figure 1), occupational health in aquaculture must join multidisciplinary efforts to promote health and safety by adopting and implementing specific practices and policies. The promotion of health among workers includes the adoption of good manufacturing practices, good hygiene practices, and a hazard analysis and critical control point program. The production process must have effective hygiene and sanitation programs.37 Huss HH, Reilly A, Embarek PKB. Prevention and control of hazards in seafood. Food Control. 2000;11:149–156.[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®][Google Scholar] The above three programs and practices are frameworks that guide the identification and assessment of hazards and risks of the aquaculture sector.38 Reilly A, Käferstein F. Food safety hazards and the application of the principles of the hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) system for their control in aquaculture production. Aquacult Res. 1997;28:735–752.[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®], [CSA][Google Scholar] Other requirements that should be a priority are occupational risk maps, continuing education and training, and aquaculture waste management, all of which are actions that promote health among workers. Specific polices and health surveillance,39 Cavalli LS, Brito KCT, Brito BG. One health, one aquaculture: aquaculture under One Health umbrella. J Mar Biol Aquacult. 2015;1:1–2.[CrossRef][Google Scholar] work and academic partnerships, scientific studies, laboratory networks,40 Rubin C, Myers T, Stokes W, Dunham B, Harris S, Lautner B, Annelli J. Review of Institute of Medicine and National Research Council recommendations for One Health initiative. Emerg Infect Dis. 2013;19:91–95.[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®][Google Scholar] and guidelines and standards with protocols for emergencies are all necessary. To provide global knowledge regarding occupational accidents, we propose a universal online platform that is frequently updated (i.e., a world occupational aquaculture injuries database) and easily available to report injuries from aquaculture activities.

Figure 1. Occupational aquaculture under the One Health umbrella. The occupational perspective involves human, animal and environmental health, as well as risk assessments and measures for maintaining a safe workplace. PPE, personal protective equipment; GMP, good manufacturing practice; GHP, good hygiene practice; HACCP, hazard analysis and critical control point. (Image based on One Health umbrella from One Health initiative,

Especially in developing countries, a joint effort is necessary to improve and promote safe practices in the daily lives of workers. Regulatory agencies, government, scientists, employers, and workers should work together to control, monitor, and reduce the risks of injuries and fatal accidents on aquaculture farms. Perhaps the most innovative and challenging issue in One Health in relation to aquaculture is to promote a safe workplace. ...”

Provided by:

Dra. Lissandra Souto Cavalli

Pesquisadora IV

Saúde e Biossegurança/Inovação Tecnológica

Departamento de Diagnóstico e Pesquisa Agropecuária - DDPA

Secretaria de Agricultura, Pecuária e Irrigação do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul - Seapi

51-32888021/993800016 BRAZIL

Skype: lis-cavalli