Dr. Roy Yanong, Professor
Fish Health Management/Aquaculture
1408 24th Street SE
Ruskin, FL 33570
(813) 671.5230 ext 104
Roy Yanong’s longtime interest as a tropical fish hobbyist eventually resulted in a career in fish veterinary medicine. After college, Dr. Yanong worked at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, studying leukemia in soft-shell clams from Boston Harbor. Two years later, he attended the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine where he concentrated in aquatic animal medicine and received his V.M.D. in May 1992. After graduation from vet school, he was hired by 5-D Tropical, Inc., a large ornamental fish farm in Plant City, Florida, where he was quickly immersed into the industry. He worked as staff veterinarian there for four and a half years.
In 1996, he joined the UF/IFAS Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory (TAL) in Ruskin where he provides extension, research, and educational programs in fish health management, including on-site veterinary assistance and disease diagnostic support for aquaculturists throughout the state.
Roy and his colleagues at the TAL, UF/IFAS Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program/SFRC, and the UF College of Veterinary Medicine work collaboratively to promote the advancement of aquatic animal medicine and fish health management through courses, internships, externships, extension and scientific publications, continuing education sessions, and other venues.
Over the years, Roy has participated in a number of local, state, and national fish health-related committees. He is currently the Chair of the Aquatics Working Group for the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Panel on Euthanasia; a former member and Chair of the AVMA’s Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee (AqVMC); and a past member of the AVMA’s Animal Agriculture Liaison Committee (AALC). He is also a founding member, currently Past President, and on the Executive Board of the American Association of Fish Veterinarians, and a member of a number of other aquaculture and fish health organizations.
Roy Yanong’s research program is applied and industry-driven, and concentrated primarily in ornamental fish species. Guidance is received through the Tropical Aquaculture Lab’s Aquaculture Advisory Committee, the Florida Tropical Fish Farms Association’s Research and Fish Health Committees, and the Florida Aquaculture Association.
Losses caused by disease in Florida’s tropical fish industry have major economic impact. Consequently, his program has been focused in two major areas of concern: 1) diseases of production and 2) drugs, chemicals, and biologics.
Research interests involving diseases of production include: determination of production risk factors for disease and reducing those risks; development of improved harvesting, grading, and transport technology for ornamental fish; clinical/pathologic characterization of ornamental fish diseases (such as cryptobiosis in cichlids and mycobacteriosis in frogfish).
Drugs, chemicals, and biologics are important fish health management tools. Even the best-managed farms have disease and require some type of therapy. Given the present FDA-approval process, pharmaceutical companies have had little economic incentive to apply for drug approvals for ornamental fish. However, with the passage of the Minor Use Minor Species (MUMS) Act, there is more interest in ornamental fish. The TAL has been working closely with companies who are interested in gaining FDA approval or Indexing (legally marketable, unapproved) for drugs. Biologics such as vaccines can be cost-effective, but have not been used routinely in Florida’s aquaculture industries. Projects include completed or ongoing research on: Ovaprim (GnRHa, a spawning aid), which became the first listed drug on the FDA Index; Aquacalm (metomidate hydrochloride), which was the second drug placed on the FDA Index; SLICE (emamectin benzoate), an oral parasiticide; florfenicol, a very effective antibiotic that had not been used previously in the industry; Pyceze ® (bronopol) an antibacterial and anti-fungal also not currently used in the industry; use of different chemicals against Cryptobia iubilans, an important parasite of an important group of fish, the cichlids; 17-alpha-methyltestosterone, a chemical used to masculinize swordtails; use of different sedation and anesthetic agents; and vaccine production and feasibility against important bacterial diseases. Non-funded projects include: use of hydrogen peroxide against external bacteria and parasites and toxicity of recommended adult doses of formalin and salt treatments to fish larvae and fry.
VMD, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, 1992
BA, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, 1986
FAS 4932/6932 Introduction to Fish and Shellfish Histological Interpretation