In this era of unprecedented growth in aquaculture and trade, aquatic parasite cultures are essential to better understand emerging diseases and their implications for human and animal health. Yet culturing parasites presents multiple challenges, arising from their complex, often multihost life cycles, multiple developmental stages, variable generation times and reproductive modes. Furthermore, the essential environmental requirements of most parasites remain enigmatic. Despite these inherent difficulties, in vivo and in vitro cultures are being developed for a small but growing number of aquatic pathogens. Expanding this resource will facilitate diagnostic capabilities and treatment trials, thus supporting the growth of sustainable aquatic commodities and communities.