The global aquaculture vaccines market size was valued at USD 389.12 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 791.42 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 8.2% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Aquaculture is acknowledged globally as the food production industry with the highest growth rate. The excessive farming of finfish and crustaceans has resulted in an imbalance of ideal culture conditions, resulting in increased vulnerability to infectious illness. The industry's most significant barrier is the increasing occurrence of microbial illnesses in aquaculture systems. In addition, antibiotics have come under heavy fire for antibiotic residues, bacterial drug resistance, and toxicity. Vaccination would be the best option to combat bacterial and viral diseases for sustainable aquaculture in the current situation.
Vaccination is a quick, efficient, and preventative technique of disease prevention for fish. A protective immune response is created in an animal during vaccination through administering vaccinations. Antigens from pathogenic organisms that have been turned non-pathogenic through various processes are used in vaccines to stimulate the immune system of the animal and raise its resistance to disease when pathogens are met naturally. The antibody-producing cells, known as B lymphocytes, are stimulated by a vaccine and remain sensitized and prepared to react to the chemical should it ever enter the body.
Farmers are encouraged to utilize vaccinations for aquaculture to increase the profitability of the rising demand for food products made from aquatic animals, such as oil, caviar, protein powders, and meat. Consumers are becoming more aware of the nutritive benefits of animal protein as a result of the increase in urbanization. In addition, the demand for beef products that are healthful, sustainable, high-quality, and contain little to no medications is also rising quickly. Aquatic animals now require more care during breeding, which is expected to increase demand for aquaculture vaccines and expand the market.
Consumers are also becoming aware of the importance of micronutrients, the natural sources of which are fish-based proteins. These micronutrients include vitamin D. Another micronutrient is vitamin B12, the only natural source of animal proteins, such as tuna. As a result, the market for aquaculture vaccines is expanding due to the increasing demand for these micronutrients and the consequent increase in demand for fish meat. The high value of aquatic animal-derived food products is expected to increase the demand for aquaculture vaccines for delivering healthy fish meat.
The prevalence of infectious diseases in aquatic animals is increasing owing to adverse climatic transformations and rapid globalization. Government initiatives mandating safe healthcare practices for aquaculture production are expected to grow the aquaculture vaccine market. Several governments worldwide are focused on protecting these animals from diseases. In addition, efforts are being undertaken to increase awareness about these diseases and their diagnosis and treatment through fish farmers.
According to Aquaculture Research & Development journal, from 2014 to 2018, approximately 219 infectious diseases in the fresh aquaculture sector were registered. Some 74.88% were caused by parasites, 12.80% by bacteria, 1.83% by viruses, and 10.50% by a combination of parasitic and bacterial diseases. Therefore, such a high prevalence of infectious diseases is expected to boost the demand for vaccines, fueling the market growth.
According to the Fish Site, global aquaculture's growth rate decreased from 10% annually to 2% in 2018. It also stated that the total aquaculture harvest in 2018 reached an all-time high of approximately 114.5 million tons. Although the aquaculture production quantity is high, the industry's growth rate has slowed down. Significant aquaculture market production, i.e., the European countries, must grow.
Additionally, the growth of the aquaculture industry requires political support for promoting appropriate policies, strategies, and public and private investment. According to the European aquaculture producers, the biggest challenge for the continued advancement of the aquaculture segment is the acceptance of appropriate general governance verdicts aiming precisely to promote aquaculture development amidst all the other economic activities.
The genomes of a variety of fish species are now available. As the price of technology like whole genome sequencing continues to drop, more and more reports of these viruses' genomes are being published, paving the way for species-specific vaccine development. These factors provide lucrative opportunities for market players to invest in developing new vaccines against bacterial, viral, or parasitic infectious diseases for which vaccines are currently unavailable. Moreover, developing effective mucosal vaccines and optimizing their delivery is expected to expedite novel vaccine development and enable aquaculture businesses in low- and middle-income countries to use vaccination habitually. Furthermore, the effective use of emergency (autogenous) vaccines is expected to help address emerging disease challenges and create tremendous opportunities for the market players to grow.
The global aquaculture vaccines market is segmented by vaccine type, route of administration, and application.
Based on the vaccine type, the global aquaculture vaccines market is divided into live attenuated vaccines, inactivated vaccines, subunit vaccines, DNA vaccines, and recombinant vaccines.
The inactivated vaccines segment is responsible for the largest market share and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 8.0% over the forecast period. Large quantities of fermentation of the disease-causing pathogens manufacture inactivated bacterial and viral vaccines. Inactivating agents such as formalin are then introduced to kill all the microorganisms. These inactivated organisms elicit immune responses as they retain their basic shape, original antigen characteristics, and structure. In addition, strict quality control protocols are followed when manufacturing inactivated bacterial and viral vaccines, such as tests to confirm that the microorganisms have been killed. An adjuvant is required to enhance antigen presentation in the fish's immune system. This adjuvant also improves the duration of protection.
DNA vaccines are developed using genes encoding the target antigen. Expression of the antigen by host cells (aquatic species) triggers the immune response. This technology is also known as nucleic acid or genetic immunization. Clynav vaccine by Elanco is a DNA vaccine that provides protection against pancreatic disease in Atlantic salmon. Apex-IHN is a DNA vaccine that protects healthy salmonid fish from Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHNV). In addition, the market is anticipated to be driven by the rising frequency of aquatic diseases, consumers' increasing demand for seafood devoid of antibiotics, and increased public and private sector R&D initiatives over the forecast period.
Based on the route of administration, the global aquaculture vaccines market is bifurcated into oral, injected, and immersion and spray.
The injected segment owns the highest market share and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.7% over the forecast period. Vaccinating via injection requires fish to be sedated or anesthetized before getting injected by hand or an automatic vaccinating machine. Fish have to be starved before the procedure. A small mark left by the needle on the abdominal body wall of the fish serves as a clear indicator that it has been vaccinated. According to the University of Maine Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research, injected aquaculture vaccine is more effective using immersion, mainly as a booster shot in previously vaccinated fish.
Fish have large mucosal surfaces in the form of gills, gut, skin, and nasal mucosae. This makes administering vaccines through the mucosal route more affordable and practical than other methods. According to the University of Maine Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research, immersion vaccination is commonly used as the first vaccine for tiny fish. For instance, ICTHIOVAC VR is part of HIPRA's portfolio of vaccines effective against turbot and sea bass vibriosis. It is a suspension for immersion type of vaccine prepared by diluting the vaccine in water for a short bath (vaccine: water proportion of 1:10) or long bath (vaccine: water proportion of 1: 500).
Based on application, the global aquaculture vaccines market is segmented into bacterial, viral, and parasitic.
The bacterial segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7.8% during the forecast period. As per Aquatic Animal Health Research by the USDA, more than 20 genera of bacterial species have been identified as causative agents behind aquatic diseases. They affect over 20 species of freshwater and marinewater fish. Vibrio anguillarum is the bacterium that causes the disease vibriosis. It is mainly observed during the seawater phase of cultivated fish and affects various fishes, including Atlantic salmon, sea bass, and Atlantic cod. In addition, AQUAVAC Vibrio Pasteurella (MSD Animal Health) protects pasteurellosis in European sea bass caused by Photobacterium damselae. Forte micro is a multivalent vaccine offered by Elanco and is used to prevent furunculosis, vibriosis, and cold-water vibriosis in healthy salmonids.
Parasites such as sea lice affect Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout and pose a significant problem for the aquaculture industry in various countries, including Chile, Scotland, and Norway. This has increased the number of research projects and government collaborations to find effective solutions for parasites and the diseases caused by them. For instance, Providean Aquatec Sea Lice is a vaccine developed and marketed by Tecnovax, an Argentina-based company. It is effective against sea louse (Caligusrogercresseyi) in salmonids. Initiatives like these are anticipated to contribute to market growth.
Europe Dominates the Global Market
Based on region, the global aquaculture vaccines market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Europe is the most significant shareholder in the global aquaculture vaccines market and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 7.1% during the forecast period. The key factors driving this growth include government and private sector initiatives, rising human concerns over the incidence of antimicrobial resistance, and the presence of key players. In addition, the European Commission funded a large-scale collaborative project under the 7th Framework Programme to support the aquaculture industry. The project, termed "TargetFish," brought together experts on the fish immune system and market players from the Biotech and Veterinary sectors to contribute to the research and technological development of the region's aquaculture industry. This also included the commercialization of fish vaccines. Further, Europe's aquaculture market is robust and growing, creating opportunities for those willing to leverage on them.
North America is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7.4% over the forecast period. This can be ascribed to elements including the demand for aquaculture production that is safe and sustainable, developments in the sector, and encouraging government initiatives. Veterinary biologics for aquaculture are regulated in the U.S. by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) in tandem with other regulatory bodies at national and local levels. The USDA guides the safe and efficient national and international commercializing of aquatic species through the National Aquatic Animal Health Plan (NAAHP). Prevention, control, and management of infections and diseases, as well as the identification of priority areas for research and development in aquatic animal health, are other NAAHP objectives.
The Asia-Pacific region is estimated to expand exponentially due to growing demand, a booming aquaculture industry, supportive government initiatives, the availability of suitable water resources in many countries, and a trend toward sustainable aquaculture. The region leads in producing several aquatic species, such as tilapia. In addition, the rising prevalence of bacterial and zoonotic infections among the aquaculture population has been observed, which has widened opportunities for preventive measures, including vaccination. Furthermore, fish farming companies are expected to be the key end users for aquaculture vaccines. The Centre for Aquatic Animal Health and Vaccines in Australia launched a 2015–2020 strategic plan to advance aquatic health and disease control, focusing on Tasmanian aquaculture. Many R&D projects are underway in significant fish-producing countries such as India and China. Vaccines against infections like the tilapia lake virus (TiLV) and parasites that afflict various aquatic species could also be developed. This is anticipated to stimulate market expansion in the area.
Latin American aquaculture has been based primarily on exotic species such as tilapia, trout, salmon, and carp. Chile, Ecuador, Brazil, and Mexico account for more than 80% of the regional aquaculture volume, as per FAO. Streptococcal infections have resulted in significant economic losses in the aquaculture sector in Latin America. Vaccines offer a safe way to protect fish health, and many R&D activities are ongoing. For instance, in February 2020, MSD Animal Health launched a vaccine against streptococcus in tilapia and other vulnerable species in Honduras. In addition, the company plans to launch the vaccine throughout the Latin American region following local regulatory approvals, driving the market's growth.
The aquaculture sector in the Middle East is still in its infancy but proliferating owing to supportive government policies and a wave of private-sector investments. Many new aquaculture projects are in the pipeline in Oman, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. Further, the fish vaccines market is predicted to have significant expansion in the region due to support for environmentally friendly and technologically sophisticated aquaculture.
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