The Aquarium Science (AQS) Program now has a Facebook page. Check in frequently for an update on our students’ activities, current classes and summer workshops jointly sponsored by the Aquarium Science Program and the Aquatic Animal Health Program.
Chris Spaulding, The AQS program director, just posted some great picks of some of the current cohorts term projects.
University of Hawaii has developed a unique online learning site for individuals seeking to develop basic skills in aquaculture and aquaponics. The program, Aquaculture Training and Online Learning (ATOLL), is an excellent way to begin to develop the core knowledge and skills for working at an entry level in the aquaculture or aquaponics industry. Further, the modules on aquaponics will be very useful for anyone interested in building a backyard aquaponics system.
There is one fee for full access to the program and you may work through the modules sat your own pace. Upon completion of each module there is a quiz and and upon passing the quiz you will receive notification of module completion. You also have the ability to immediately rate each module and interact with other students around the world through the online student center.
Our initial Beta offering of ATOLL last Spring had 138 students from U.S., Morocco, Mexico, Brazil, Palau, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Finland, Singapore, Bahamas, Portugal, Chile, Belgium, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Ecuador, and Russia!
I have been involved in preparing a number of the modules related to fish form and function, biosecurity and health management, aquaculture systems, and the ornamental fish industry. It was a great experience, my first time developing such an online module. Try it out and let me know what you think. We are always willing to hear suggestions about how we can improve the program.
I’m sorry that it has been awhile since I posted but I’m back and have some new opportunities to share with everyone.
First, please visit AquacultureHub. This is a community for aquaculture professionals, students, and enthusiasts to network and share information about the culture of aquatic animals and plants. It is hosted by the University of Hawaii – Aquaculture Program.There is also a video and photo library, a forum, sub-speciality groups and a number of blogs. You can even develop your own AquacultureHub page. I have a page and number of videos posted on this site. I look forward to meeting you at AquacultureHub.
I’m in Singapore, a wonderful city, attending Aquarama one of the major ornamental fish trade shows.
Aquarama is an annual trade show held at the Suntec Convention and trade center in Singapore. The show provides an opportunity for may segments of the industry to come together and network, see new products, conduct business, attend seminars and tour facilities.
The Trade Show
It is a large event strictly devoted to ornamental fish and invertebrates. The show is also well known for its fish and aquarium show. Here producers enter fish, planted tanks and marine aquarium displays. THey are judged by experts and the winners announced. It is another great way for producers to showcase their products.
The Fish Show
THere are also two days of educational seminars, addressing key issues in the industry. Topics covered over the past two days focused on international perspectives on a changing industry and maintaining of improving quality of the animals traded. Speakers from multiple countries provided a diverse range of views, experiences and opinions. Specific topics included:
Resident-based Ornamental Fisheries in the Western Ghats, India: Managing Poverty Alleviation and Change at the community Level. – Dr. Rajeev Raghavan
An update on Recent Biosecurity Changes and Their Impact on the Australian Ornamental fish Sector – Shane Willis, Australia
Roadmap towards a “Green” Aquarium Industry – Scott Dowd, USA
Eco-Freindly Marine Culture and Capture – A Mexican Perspective – Dr. Nuno Simoes, Mexico
Potential Impacts of Climate Change on the Ornamental Fish Industry – Ryan Donnelly, Australia
A New quality Assurance Scheme to Assure better Quality Ornamental Fish from Singapore – Poh Yew Kwang, Singapore
Total Quality Management in the Aquarium Business – Dr. Anton Lamboj, Austria
Fish Health and Biosecurity Issues in Retail Shops and Wholesale facilities – Dr. Gerald Bassaleer, The Netherlands
DNA Multi-Scan a New Fish Disease Diagnostic Tool – Dr. Kris Willems, Belgium
Implications of Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome Legislation for the Ornamental Aquatic Industry – Somkiat Kanchanakhan, Thailand
EU Fish Health Legislation: Clarifying the Confusion and Introduction of New Online Tool for the Successful Completion of Health Certificates for Import – Alex Ploeg, The Netherlands
Invasive Ornamental Fish Species in Singapore: A Case Study – Dr. Ng Heok Hee, Singapore
A Trade Perspective on Invasive Species – Sven Fossa, Norway
A Profile of the Indian Ornamental Fish Industry with Special Focus on the Concerns of Key Players – Dr. Mini Sakharan, India
Trends in Breeding Marine Aquarium Fish: Where Are We Today and Where Do We Need to Go? – Matthew Wittenrich, USA
Where do Science, Industry, and Aquariums meet?Practical Applications for What Can Be From THings Learned in the Aquarium Hobby – Julian Sprung, USA
What I have taken away from these presentations and my discussions with industry members is that there are three emerging areas that all sectors of the industry must address in the next few years:
The need for improved biosecurity throughout all sectors of the industry. THis is being driven by new emerging diseases as well as re-emerging diseases that not only pose a threat to the ornamental fish trade but also to the aquaculture industry for food fish and invertebrates. Consequently there is increased scrutiny by the regulatory bodies for national and international trade. THis is a truly global issue since ornamental fish are being exported from over 130 different countries.
The need to address the issue of aquatic invasive species. There are many animals traded that could have significant invasive potential in many countries. Many of these are banned for import but are often included due to poor quality control at packing or a lack of awareness of the specific regulations and/or risks on the part of the exporters and importers. There is a need for more research characterizing the specific invasive pathways as well as improved outreach and education at all levels when it comes to aquatic invasive species.
There is emerging pressure to develop specific guidelines that ensure adequate concern for animal welfare throughout all sectors of the industry. At this point the European Union and Australia appear to be the primary drivers though there are also emerging discussions on this topic in the United Staes as well. It is not inconceivable to envision specific regulations that would require documentation of adherence to specific welfare guidelines in order for ornamental fish to be exported to some of these countries. This would probably be very much like a health certificate. Obviously, this will be an area of much spirited debate and diplomacy since the definitions of welfare, the perceptions of an actual need for guidelines, and the appropriate methods for guideline development and enforcement vary dramatically across the globe.
These are all weighty issues that will not be addressed overnight. However, it is very important to continue discussions, continue to develop industry solutions and to maintain contact and educate key regulatory bodies about the industry. The key is to remain proactive. The alternative is regulatory requirements developed and implemented with little industry input. Not making a decision to address an issue is a decision but it may not be a very good one in this case.