Archive for the 'Mortality' Category

Apr 10 2012

2012 Ornamental Fish Medicine Course, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, Oregon

 

Just finished teaching 1 week intensive Ornamental Fish Medicine Course. Great group of 12 participants: 8 senior veterinary students from OSU, 2 professional aquarists (Oregon Coast Aquarium and Seattle Aquarium), 1 veterinarian from the SEattle Aquarium, and 1 colleague from India ( Dr. Anna Mercy, Kerala College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences). Great learning experience for all of us. Great exchanges during the lectures, labs, group projects and case studies. Looking forward to next year. Considering expanding to 2 weeks. Thanks to my co-instructors: Dennis Glaze, Dr. Jerry Heidel, Stu Clausen, and Dr. Anna Mercy.

 

Dr. Mercy is from Kerala College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, India. She participated in the course but was also kind enough to give two lectures. One lecture addressed the current status of the Indian ornamental fish industry and outreach work she has lead to train ornamental fish farmers. In the second lecture Dr. Mercy discussed some of the common health problems associated with collecting native broodstock  and breeding these fish in captivity. We recorded both of these lectures and you will be able to view them on our YouTube channel soon. I will post the links once the lectures have been posted.

 

Here’s the course outline for the course this year.

 

VMB 727
ORNAMENTAL FISH MEDICINE
April 2-6, 2012
Lead Instructor:
Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan, DVM
Oregon Sea Grant – Aquatic Animal Health
College of Veterinary Medicine
tim.miller-morgan@oregonstate.edu
Co-Instructors:
Dr. Jerry Heidel, DVM, PhD, DACVP, Cert. Fish Pathologist
Dennis Glaze, AAS – Aquarium Science
Stuart Clausen, BS, Cert. Aquarium Science

 

Recommended Texts:
o Wildgoose, W. 2001. BSAVA Manual of Ornamental Fish, Second Edition, BSAVA, Gloucester, UK 304p. Available through Amazon.com and Blackwell Publishing.
o Noga, E. 2010. Fish Disease Diagnosis and Treatment. Mosby, New York. Available through Amazon.com and Blackwell Publishing Roberts, H. 2010.
o Roberts, H. (2010) Fundamentals of Ornamental Fish Health, Wiley-Blackwell, New York. 229p.

 

MONDAY (We’ll start @ 0900)
AM (Old Library)
• Introduction
• Ornamental Fish: Essential Anatomy and Physiology and the Interface with the Captive Environment. (Old Library)
PM
• Clinical approach and procedures (Old Library)
• Laboratory: fish handling, sedation and common clinical procedures (West Wing – AAHTL)

 

TUESDAY
AM
• Laboratory: Review – Components water management systems (Dennis Glaze, West Wing – AAHTL)
• Life Support System Assessment (Old Library)
o Fish Health Cases I (Handout) – water management cases

PM
• Fish Necropsy and Dissection (Lab – TBA, Dr. Jerry Heidel)
• Laboratory: fish handling, sedation and common clinical procedures, cont. (West Wing – AAHTL)

• Evening Lecture – An Overview of the Indian Ornamental Fish Industry (Dr. Anna Mercy)

 

WEDNESDAY
AM
• Common Clinical Problems of Ornamental fish I (Old Library)
• Common Clinical Problems of Pet Fish II (Old Library)

PM

• Common Clinical Problems of Pet Fish II cont. (Old Library)
• Management and treatment of fish disease
• Laboratory: fish handling, sedation and common clinical procedures, cont. (West Wing – AAHTL)
o Fish Health Cases II (Handout) – Medical Cases

 

THURSDAY
AM
• Biosecurity and the Essential Principles of Fish Health Management (Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan)
• Collection, Transport and Acclimation of Ornamental Fish ( Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan)
• Handout Biosecurity consultation problems (Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan and Dennis Glaze)

PM
• Common Health Management Issues Associated with the Production of Native Indian Fish Species (Dr. Anna Mercy)
• Case Discussions I

 

FRIDAY
AM (Old Library)
• Laboratory:
o Assessing fish populations (Oregon Coast Aquarium)
o Handling, sedation and clinical examination of elasmobranchs (Stu Clausen, Oregon Coast Aquarium, Passages of the Deep)
PM (Old Library)
• Biosecurity Consultation problem (Old Library)
• Case Discussions II
• Evaluations

 

2 responses so far

Jun 01 2011

Farm Visits – Singapore and Malaysia, some impressions

On my way home today.  I’m writing this at the airport in Vancouver BC.

Over the past few days I’ve had the opportunity to visit a number of farms and export facilities in both Singapore and Malaysia. What I’ve taken away is an industry in these countries that is working to significantly upgrade their biosecurity and health screening procedures to meet increasing demands as well as anticipated new requirements from the World Animal Health Organization, the EU, Australia and to some extent the US.

We visited a number of facilities with significant biosecurity protocols which included:

  • Separate quarantine facilities for export – fish are quarantined in these export facility prior to shipment. These facilities are separate from the actual production facilities. We visited two of these facilities that are slated to come on line in the next few months.
  • Some facilities have two levels of quarantine; pre-quarantine at the production facility prior to shipment to the export quarantine facility.
  • Separate facilities for holding domestic and imported fish.
  • Movement from pond culture to tank and cement pond culture. Easier to prevent disease spread and easier to disinfect the rearing units.
  • Tanks and ponds with individual water supplies and filtration. Water is not shared between tanks/ponds.
  • Dedicated equipement for each tank or rearing unit.
  • Individual siphons for each holding/rearing tank. These were actually hard-plumbed. Pretty cool idea.
  • Bird netting, covered or enclosed rearing areas.
  • Regular disease screening for export purposes but also as part of an ongoing health management program.

These are a few of the more significant examples of the move to more biosecure production systems.

Of course, there are still many facilities that are rearing fish in the older style pond culture systems many with many cage nets within individual ponds. There are also problems with pest control in some facilities – frogs moving between pods, birds, snakes. Further, there are instances where there appears to be inadequate disinfection between batches, not pulling mortalities quickly and inadequate equipment disinfection. I believe all of these issues can be addressed in time.

However, the hobbyist must be willing to pay more for this increased level of health management and biosecurity. All too often I hear, particularly in the US that hobbyists want healthier and safer fish but I’m told by many retailers that they are unwilling to pay more for these fish. Price still seems to be the guiding factor. THese additional health management practices add cost to the production process and it is important for the hobbyist to understand this fact.

Just some initial thoughts. Next I will post some images to give you a feel for the different types of farms and export facilities. Stay tuned. TMM

2 responses so far

Sep 30 2010

Ornamental Marine Fish Survival Survey

Coral Magazine recently posted an online survey intended to address survival of ornamental marine fish in their readers tanks. Coral Magazine put this survey out in response to an editorial and book promotion written by Robert Winter and posted on the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society website.

The current survey results are based upon approximately 250-300 responses according to James Lawrence the editor and publisher of Coral magazine. He cautions that Coral readers tend to be high achievers in the marine aquarium keeping world but there also were a few responders that are new to the hobby.

Both items have stimulated a number of interesting responses. I found Dr. Neil Monks response particularly thought provoking.

I encourage you to review the survey results and read the various responses. What’s clear is that the answers are not simple and people are passionate about these issues but that there is much room for improvement when it comes to overall health management of these species from reef to the home tank. I appreciate Coral Magazine’s willingness to delve into this issue and I’ve found the forum discussions to be very interesting.

As with any industry and hobby there are conscientious and unscrupulous players. It is always easy to point fingers but I’m most interested in how we can constantly move to improve the quality of marine ornamental fish health. Parts of the survey begin to get at this but I’d like to hear some suggestions addressing how the industry and the hobby can begin to be more proactive when addressing these issues.

Some questions for discussion:

  • Can there be sustainable harvest?
  • Is aquaculture the answer?
  • If so, what about the many communities that depend upon wild harvest for their livelihoods?
  • Do you think certification is or can be effective?
  • How can we incentivize improved health management throughout the supply chain?
  • How can we better reach hobbyists and instill the importance of quality husbandry?
  • Is it possible to economically insert quarantine and disease screening into the industry?
  • If not, how can we convince hobbyists to set up their own quarantine systems?
  • How would you go about convincing a new  hobbyist to institute quarantine?
  • Can veterinarians play a role here? If so, how? If not, why?
  • If the global veterinary profession could assist the industry and hobby what would be the most appropriate role we should play?
  • Obviously, my focus is on fish health. Feel free to insert other issues into the discussion.

In past posts I’ve been accused of preaching to the choir. That’s fine because I’m interested in your thoughts as active/passionate members of this hobby and industry .  Be creative. Think outside the box.

So, Let’s hear your your thoughts, comments and ideas!! Just be civil!!

5 responses so far