Aquaculture has grown rapidly for food production around the world. However, outbreaks of infectious diseases have also increased in aquaculture, causing serious economic losses. For many years, fish farmers have applied conventional treatments such as anti‐parasitics and chemical treatments to control fish parasites. However, previous studies have revealed an accumulation of these chemical residues in fish tissues, and a negative environmental impact from farms to aquatic organisms. As an alternative to conventional methods, many plant‐derived compounds such as essential oils (e.g. Origanum sp. and Lippia spp.) and plant extracts (e.g. Allium sativum and Mentha spp.) have been used as an efficient treatment to control parasites in freshwater, brackishwater and marine aquaculture systems. Our objective with this review is to highlight the advantages of the use of plant extracts as an alternative treatment against parasites in aquaculture (e.g. protozoans, myxozoans and monogeneans) and to show the possible negative environmental impacts of conventional treatments used in fish farming systems. Finally, we also highlight the potential of discovering new plant‐derived bioactive compounds that have been increased in the last year due to the use of new tools such as the application of nanotechnology and microencapsulation to control diseases in fish farming.
Part of the book: Natural Remedies in the Fight Against Parasites