Disease literally means "not at ease" and simply put, disease is the opposite of health. As with all animal production systems, disease is a considerable constraint on production, development and expansion in the aquaculture industry. The control of disease is particularly difficult in systems where production is dependent on natural environmental conditions (e.g. cage systems) where these conditions cannot be controlled. Several of the major disease conditions encountered are caused by specific changes, or deterioration, in the aquatic environment and many other conditions are precipitated or exacerbated by environmental effects (e.g. algal blooms in summer). A second major constraint on disease control in aquaculture is the relative lack of therapeutic agents and preventive measures available for the control of infectious agents. Even when suitable therapies are available, their application to animals in the aquatic environment is often very difficult in practice - and sometimes impossible. The majority of disease conditions in aquaculture will be significantly reduced if proper attention is paid to good husbandry and the maintenance of optimum environmental conditions, especially water quality. The water is much richer in nutrients than for example the air. This means that a lot of different potential (opportunistic) pathogens are present in the aquatic environment ("bacterial soup"). This constant pressure of pathogens renders the presence of an effective immune system pivotal for the survival of the fish. There are some weak points in the defence system of fish: for example the large surface of the gills, their delicate structure and the direct contact with surrounding water makes them a preferred target for invading pathogens.
The course registration is open for any person interested in fish disease and health management.
In this course participants will learn to:
- The learner will have a basic understanding of fish disease and health management.