Course code VET313

VET313 Aquatic Animal Medicine and Fish Health

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2019 - 2020 .

Course responsible: Øystein Evensen
ECTS credits: 7.5
Faculty: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Teaching language: NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring semester. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring semester
Course frequency: Yearly
First time: Study year 2016-2017
Preferential right:



Course contents:
  • Reproduction and breeding in farmed fish, with emphasis on Atlantic salmon
  • Aquatic Medicine
  • Production Principles / production cycle
  • Fish diseases in farmed fish
  • Smoltification
  • Diseases in farmed fish, including fish pathology
  • Fish welfare
  • Preventive and therapeutic principles
  • Water quality (freshwater)
Learning outcome:

After completing the block the students will have the basis for mastering the "Day one skills" as defined by EAEVE: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.8, 1.9, 1.10, 1.11, 1.12, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 3.1, 3.2, 3.5, 3.6, 3.10, 3.14, 3.18, 3.19, 3.20

After completing the course the student should:

  • Understand the legislation concerning the welfare of fish and understand that good health is an important indicator of welfare.
  • Have knowledge of the farming industry's structure, the production cycle, smoltification, and the occurrence of the most important diseases of farmed fish in relation to the production cycle
  • Have basic knowledge of the life cycle of Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout and other relevant species in Norwegian fish farming.
  • Have knowledge of infectious and production-related diseases in the different phases of the production cycle, with emphasis on issues related to the introduction of agents (pathogens), host factors and environmental conditions.
  • Have knowledge of principles of disease prevention, including infection containment and vaccination under farming conditions.
  • Understand the basic requirements for good water quality under farming operations, particularly in the freshwater phase
  • Be able to diagnose various diseases in farmed and wild fish based on histological preparations, provide a general description of pathological changes and indicate possible differential diagnoses.
  • Be able to conduct autopsies and know how organ samples should be collected for submission to a diagnostic laboratory.
  • Conduct examination (macroscopic) of fish parasites.
  • Understand principle of prevention and treatment of major diseases.
Learning activities:

The teaching will focus on relevant species and modern farming of ths\ese. The teaching will include the diseases occuring in these species. 

Teaching is spread throughout 8th semester. Introductory instruction is given in the form of lectures, group rotation instruction in the mixed block in form of courses in fish histopathology. In addition, there is organized a field trip to Sandnes with visits to fish farms along with local fish health veterinarians and this is combined with practical autopsy and lectures about relevant subjects. In the teaching it is included a seperate study based on different cases and presentasions of these in plenary

Teaching support:
Recommended literature and detailed description of the course are found at the block's home area on Canvas
Aquamedicine is a subject area that primarily deals with diseases in farmed fish, with the main emphasis on farming of salmonids.Knowledge of aquatic medicine is important in order to make rational choices when diagnosing, treating, combating and preventing diseases in farming. The syllabus appears from lectures, notes and a separate compendium.
Recommended prerequisites:
Block earlier in the program. Fish have been taught previously in all relevant contexts.
Mandatory activity:

Group teaching in production principles of salmon and smoltification in fish/salmonids. The lectures are available on videos and as powerpoint presentations. It is mandatory to go through the videos and the topics are discussed and reviewed with the use of Kahoot as part of the rotation. Attendance at the review is mandatory.

Absence from the teaching can be retaken later in the semester or possibly next year and has to be agreed with the course coordinator.

The field course at Frøya / Kristiansund is mandatory and students not attending must take the course next year, or possibly through similar arrangements in consultation with the course coordinator.

Presentation of tasks.

The student will normally be allowed to take the exam even if not all compulsory teaching is approved, but no credits are given before the study requirements are approved.


4 hour written final exam (AKVFIS06)

Examination support material: None

Grading scale: A-F

Entrance requirements:
Admitted to the Veterinary Medicine Program and completed minimum 166,5 ECTS after third year at the program

Requirements for own equipment

Warm clothes on the field course and footwear that can withstand water / spray.


Field course:

The aquaculture service and / or the various aquaculture companies' regulations and procedures for employees must be followed. It is mandatory to have a life jacket when the students are on board a boat or out at sea/on sea cages. In addition to this, the students are required to adhere to the messages that are given, either from course leader, skipper on boat, or operating manager on site. There are separate safety procedures on board the boats and restrictions on passenger numbers. At all plants and most boats used there are first aid equipment that can use in case of cut injuries and the like. There is very little or no absence of zoonotic potential in the autopsy material the students get / have access to. When visiting a slaughterhouse, everyone is provided with a cover suit and shoes for product quality and safety.

Examination details: Skriftlig eksamen og obligatorisk aktivitet: A - E / F