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Fish Health and Welfare



Course format On-site
Date 2021-01-11 - 2021-05-07

Products from fish farming and other aquaculture constitute an increasing proportion of the production of food for human consumption globally. Fish farming has developed to be one of the most important export industries in Norway, and it is clearly stated from the authorities that it is a main goal to increase this production significantly. However, it is a prerequisite that the production is sustainable. This implies that the production shall not affect the marine environment, including wild fish populations, to a degree that makes significant changes to fish stocks, and farming should also be sustainable in terms of welfare, disease, mortality and losses of farmed fish.

Specific infectious diseases are of particular importance in large populations, and it is necessary to know infectious agents, the mechanisms for spread of infection and methods of disease control for both important diseases and as general principles for biosecurity in farmed fish.

Good fish welfare is an important sustainability goal for the aquaculture industry. In addition to good health / absence of disease and mortality, there are different methods and parameters for measuring or evaluating fish welfare. Under aquaculture conditions, the fish populations are subjected to manipulation or stresses other than wild fish; increased fish density, water quality aspects, feeding situation/nutritional uptake, and various forms of handling and other manipulation. Physiological parameters can provide measurements for degree of stress exposure.

Learning outcomes


The candidate shall obtain an overview of different categories of causes of disease in farmed fish. He/she should especially be able to understand how infectious diseases develop and spread in populations, as well as general principles and measures to prevent the introduction and further spread of infectious agents. The candidate should also have knowledge of important, specific infectious diseases. Furthermore, the candidate should have knowledge of the importance of good welfare and methods for measuring/documenting welfare.


The candidate should be able to describe general principles for spread of infection and disease control of infectious diseases in farmed fish, as well as the importance of specific infectious diseases with emphasis on conditions important for preventing introduction of infectious agents. The candidate should also be able to explain different methods for documenting fish welfare.

General competence:

The candidate shall have general knowledge and understanding of fish health and fish welfare as important elements in sustainable fish farming, as well as the importance of disease control and monitoring of welfare. The candidate should be able to understand the interaction between stress, good health and welfare of farmed fish.


BI2064 or similar course in fish or general physiology


ISCED Categories

Veterinary sciences