Dec 10, 2018 to Dec 14, 2018
Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC

An intensive five-day course on practical skills associated with fish health techniques for aquaculture (hatcheries and net pen) and aquarium fishes. Various topics include animal welfare (including anesthetic use, blood collection and fish tagging), fish anatomy, recognition of common disease symptoms and testing for harmful algae blooms (HABs). Upon completion, students will be able to describe the diagnosis, pathology and treatment of major aquatic diseases. The hands-on laboratory component allows the student to practice various diagnostic and applied techniques essential to fish welfare, proper fish husbandry and health assessment.


•Describe the importance of animal welfare when sampling and handling live fish.

•Describe why and when anaesthetic use is important and list the major types of anaesthetics available for handling fish.

•Define the terms: induction time, recovery time, safety margin, withdrawal time.

•Demonstrate the proper techniques for using anaesthetics on fish, including calculations of immersion baths.

•Demonstrate how to properly collect a fish blood sample, using a syringe or Vacutainer® system.

•Demonstrate how to prepare a blood smear and blood hematocrit sample.

•List common methods of marking and tagging live animals.

•Define the terms: group vs. individual marking, natural tags.

•Conduct the proper technique when marking fish with T-bar anchor tags.

•Describe and demonstrate techniques to properly monitor fish health; including recognizing stress and common disease symptoms.

•Demonstrate the key steps to diagnose diseases caused by aquatic viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites or the environment.

•Demonstrate how to set up a harmful algae monitoring program at a net pen site.

•Conduct disease preventative measures (e.g., biosecurity) and compile a series of fish health monitoring SOPs.

Prerequisites: Level 1: Introduction to Basic Fish Health Management

For more information and registration, see course page here.