Level 2: Practical Fish Health Techniques for Aquaculture & Fisheries Ecology

Course Description

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.

Class vs. Field

        Class 5 Days


Level 1: Introduction to Basic Fish Health Management

Course Schedule

Course Schedule Information


Registration Information


Course fees are refundable if you withdraw a minimum of 10 days prior to the start date of the course.Note that special refund deadlines are stated for some courses, and we are unable to issue refunds after those deadlines - information will appear in the intake's details available on the NREP schedule page. Non-Refundable Fees: Some courses may have non-refundable tuition, application, and/or lab fees. Please note: A full refund is issued if a course is cancelled.