Seafood consumption in the United States has risen to over 50% per capita over the last 25 years with over 75% of total U.S. seafood consumption coming from import. These trends, if continued, place a high importance on the safety aspect of seafood trade. Despite the lack of evidence supporting higher risk in imported food, many of the U.S. seafood import sources are located in tropical areas where bacteria and toxin hazards are greater. This concern is further exacerbated by the increasing trade deficit highlighted by the 2004 USDA Seafood Safety and Trade study. In 2001 alone, the United States imported $6.8 billion more than exported. The increasing amount of aquacultural activities around the world have also led to amplified antimicrobial action and, in some instances, heavy use of antibiotics. Although most countries with a significant aquaculture industry exercise responsible controlling action, there is still some concern over prophylactic use of antibiotics, rather than anaphylactic use, increasing the potential for proliferation of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) in aquacultural environments. In addition, higher stresses on aquacultural facilities driven by the growing demand for seafood has exacerbated the number of pathogens and organic toxins that threaten fish, bivalves, and other aquatic organisms of interest. Some water treatment processes can lyse bacteria, intact remnants of pathogenic genes are often released into the environment can eventually be taken up by other cells through natural transformation. A recent study published in Water Research, supports the probability that chemical agent water treatment such as chlorination can drastically intensify eARG uptake and increase ARB transmission. Furthermore, the removal efficiency of organic toxins and antibiotics themselves during water treatment is highly variable, depending on the toxins physicochemical properties and the design and water treatment conditions of the aquaculture site. In the framework of this SBIR Phase I project, AAPlasma will design, develop, and evaluate a pulsed spark discharge system for its implementation in aquacultural facilities to prevent proliferation of waterborne pathogenic microbes and to dissociate antibiotics. The main goal of this SBIR Phase I project is to investigate the efficacy of direct non-thermal plasma in water to inactivate pathogenic bacteria, dissociate toxins of concern, and evaluate the potential risks of this plasma-based approach on fish and similar in-demand marine organisms."