Fish Health and Welfare

Key facts

  • Start date TBC
  • Fees Supplied upon request
  • Study mode Campus based


The Institute of Aquaculture proudly brings together world-class researchers from a variety of disciplines and guest speakers from across the aquaculture supply chain to deliver the best training as the industry grows to meet local and global demand.

This two-day core course is aimed at all aquaculture stakeholders.

By attending the core course you will gain insight into:

  • Fish biology, anatomy and physiology
  • Salmon life cycle and smolt production
  • Handling techniques, dissection and tissue sampling
  • Stress, health and disease
  • Fish sentience, behaviour and welfare
  • Why welfare pays
  • Main diseases and pathogens
  • Preventive and therapeutic strategies
  • How vaccines work
  • Sea lice monitoring and control
  • Managing gill problems
  • Biosecurity, veterinary health and welfare plans and record keeping
  • Industry standards, good practice and legislation

Our excellent staff, facilities and networks make us the natural first choice for professionals of all backgrounds wanting to know more about fish health and welfare.

Applications are accepted until course is full. To register, please download the CPD course registration form and email to TBA.

Entrance requirements

The core course is tailored as an entry point for people working in all segments of the aquaculture supply chain. Access to enrolment does not require previous experience in aquaculture.


There are no funding options currently available.


To provide a solid understanding of the biological particularities of fish, fish health and disease, disease prevention, fish welfare and relevant legislation, and an overview of salmon production in Scotland.

Practical training includes a hands-on approach to fish anatomy and dissection, and tissue sampling techniques. Group-work is developed through interactive discussions of case-studies or round tables.

Structure and content

Day 1

Stress, health and disease
Fish physiology refresher

- coffee break -

Welfare: what is it and how to assess it
Main diseases and pathogens

- lunch -

Practical: dissection and sampling

Day 2

Fundamentals of vaccination and immunology
Vaccination best practice

- coffee break -

Key parasitic diseases: sea lice and amoebic gill disease
RSPCA Assured: welfare standards

- lunch -

Health management of farmed populations
Use of fish behaviour to improve animal welfare

- coffee break -

Case studies or Round Table: drivers for good welfare

(structure and content of course may vary slightly for each session)

Delivery and assessment

The course comprises a mix of classroom-based lectures and lab-based practicals. Teaching personnel include specialists from the Institute of Aquaculture and guest speakers from across the industry.

Assessment is made on an individual basis and can assume a variety of formats, including paper-based and/or online-based. Detailed information on the type of assessment will be provided to participants at the start of the course.

Dates on campus

The full programme is delivered at the Institute of Aquaculture’s facilities on the University of Stirling campus.

An optional residential package with full board accommodation is available to delegates.

Dates of next courses: TBC.

Module coordinator


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