Aquaculture, the controlled production of aquatic organisms, plays a crucial role in meeting the growing demand for healthy, tasty and sustainably produced seafood. The rapid growth and intensification of seafood farming has inevitably resulted in the increased occurrence of viral, bacterial, parasitic or stress-related disease outbreaks. Indeed, current farming techniques may in many farming practises tend to promote the presence of unwanted micro-organisms. Until recently this aspect of modern aquaculture has been vastly underestimated or largely ignored in some regions. If, however, current aquaculture production is to be improved in a sustainable way, strategic approaches are necessary. In salmon aquaculture, for instance, spreading of viral diseases and parasites (salmon lice) are among the main current health and welfare challenges. In penaeid shrimp farming, viral disease outbreaks have occasionally decimated the production of whole countries, causing huge economic losses and threatening the livelihoods of numerous family-run business. Science-based efficient health management and well-educated specialised personnel are paramount to overcoming these problems.
The AquaH programme responds to the need for an expert training that prepares students to develop and implement innovative solutions to aquaculture health issues, thus contributing to the sustainable development of the aquaculture industry. The programme focuses on understanding and controlling the interaction between aquaculture species and their environment, in order to produce robust and healthy animals with attention for epidemiological, environmental and welfare regulations. The programme offers three distinct tracks, each addressing aquaculture health issues on a different level:
the relationship between the ecosystem and health;
disease prevention and adequate health maintenance with minimal impact on the environment;
the relationship between animal physiology and health
This ERASMUS Mundus programme enables students to study at four of Europe’s leading institutes in aquaculture and do a work placement at one of our numerous industry or research partners worldwide. ERASMUS Mundus scholarships are available.