Development of an online Fish Health Certificate Program for producers that will provide them with relevant risk assessment and management principles and practices to reduce losses due to fish diseases is now complete. Part one of the fish health certificate program included the development of a six module web-based learning program. The modules contain information about:
- Introductory principles and practices such as regional fish production, farm types in the NCR, principle culture systems, and the myriad of regulatory agencies involved in U.S. aquaculture.
- Risk management and biosecurity methods that can assist producers in reducing the risk of introduction of diseases at aquaculture facilities. This module reviewed topics, e.g., Best Management Practices, loss events, continuing education, veterinary services, record keeping, and links to state and federal guidelines and policies.
- Water quality management and monitoring, and disease prevention that includes reviews of water characteristics, physical and chemical water components, and effluent discharge at aquaculture facilities.
- Fish health inspections, with particular emphasis on what producers should expect at an inspection, how producers can prepare for inspections, regulatory consequences, supplies and equipment required at an inspection, and how samples are collected, shipped, and what type of voucher specimens may be collected.
- Veterinary health assessments and reports are presented showing typical results of a fish health inspection. Information included shows a producer how they can use the information to improve fish health management at their facility. This included a review of treatments and medications and the role of follow-up assessments.
- Case studies describing diseases based on water quality problems, environmental diseases, bacterial infections and ectoparasites have been developed. Case studies specific to Koi herpes virus, largemouth bass virus, infectious salmon anemia, spring viraemia of carp, and viral hemorrhagic septicemia have been developed based on actual “real-world” examples.
The online program will have free access for the first year for those that complete a pre-program survey. To access the program, producers can follow these instructions:
- Go to https://ce.vetmed.wisc.edu/
- Click "Sign up now" to create an account (this is free)
- Click on "Take a course"
- Navigate to the courses by clicking on "Fish Health Courses for Producers and Veterinarians" > "Fish Producer Courses"
- Click on the "Complete Fish Health for Producers Program" link at the bottom of the list
- To take the program for free, click on the “survey link” on the course homepage.
- Copy the access code from the bottom of the survey
- Click the "Register" button on the original course web page
- Paste the access code into the field on the RIGHT side of the screen