Aquaculture North America

Merck Animal Health launches new courses for aquaculturists

November 9, 2023
By Aquaculture North America staff

Merck Animal Health has launched two new training modules in its AQUA CARE365 fish welfare series to address operational and welfare aspects of harvest and PIT tagging.

Tim Kniffen, technical services veterinarian at MSD said aquaculturists must act ethically and responsibly as they help meet the world’s growing demand for fish.

“The AQUA CARE365 program addresses topics that provide valuable insights and information to help educate anyone with an interest in aquatic animal welfare, but especially caretakers working with fish. This training will ultimately create and improve a culture of care for the animals, whether in aquaculture or conservation operations,” said Kniffen.

The two new modules are part of a six-series module which includes farm fish behaviour, sea pen handling, anatomy and vaccination, along with a prerequisite lesson on fish welfare.


Jimmy Turnbull, professor at the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling in Scotland — one of the featured experts in the program — encourages farmers to spend some time observing fish behaviour, both on the surface and underwater.

“Being observant on the farm is important, as it may take an entire production cycle before fish handlers become familiar with the basics,” said Turnbull. “Fish handlers need to be trained so they know when to report abnormal behaviour, as it may require immediate intervention for the health and welfare of the fish.”

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