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    Heightened risk of avian influenza in the Southern Ocean

    Request Meeting Document
    Document Number:
    Submitted by SCAR and IAATO
    Submitted By:
    Dr Susie Grant
    Approved By:
    Rosemary Nash

    Advice from avian influenza experts suggests that Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 will likely arrive in the Southern Ocean during the 2022/23 or 2023/24 austral summers by way of migrating species. The SCAR Antarctic Wildlife Health Working Group (AWHWG) is concerned about the likely arrival and significant impact HPAI might have on wildlife in the region. This paper provides background information that may be useful for CCAMLR Members on avian influenza. Additional work is underway through SCAR, with IAATO and COMNAP, to develop practical advice to identify suspected cases and to eliminate risk associated with direct human contact. It may also be timely for the Scientific Committee to consider revising the CCAMLR Ecosystem Monitoring Program (CEMP) Standard Methods protocols on collection of samples in the event of disease.