Aquatic Animal Health
Improving the health of fish and other aquatic animals locally and globally

Aquatic Animal Health Program

The Aquatic Animal Health program works to improve the health of fish and other aquatic animals locally and globally, through certification, diagnostics, student training, and advances in scientific research.

Our mission is to improve the health of fish regionally, nationally, and internationally.”

Dr. Kevin Snekvik, WSU Ed McLeary Distinguished Professor and fish health scientist

Certification and diagnostic services

As U.S. aquaculture and global trade continue to expand, it is critical fisheries producers have access to laboratories that can perform certification testing. Such testing helps ensure their products are free of disease-causing pathogens, such as the infectious pancreatic necrosis virus, which could spread regionally, nationally, or internationally if undetected.

A collaborative effort by the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL) and the Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology department, the program offers:

  • Certification testing for fisheries producers and veterinarians
  • Diagnostic services for fisheries producers, veterinarians, Native American tribes, state natural resource agencies, and the public

Graduate student training

Our program trains veterinary, post-DVM anatomic pathology residents, and graduate students to recognize and detect disease-causing finfish pathogens that affect fish or fish egg production, such as the infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus and Myxobolus cerebralis, the causative agent of whirling disease. Students and residents also learn how these diagnoses can affect a production facility, initiate responses from regulatory agencies, and possibly impact interstate and international trade.


Our scientists conduct research into disease-causing pathogens that have economic importance to finfish (fish and fish eggs) production in Washington state and the greater Northwest. We also collaborate with internationally-recognized researchers who engineer water recirculation systems for fish production to ensure the fish within these systems are healthy while reducing the impact of their production on the environment.

Questions about giving? Contact Lynne Haley or 509-335-5021.