International Training Programme (ITP) on Health Management in Aquaculture

Application for the edition of 2018 has been cancelled


As the aquaculture sector evolves from an artisanal venture to a highly specialised bio-industry, diseases and health management are becoming a major concern. The general lack of basic knowledge on disease prevention and health management has driven farmers to the injudicious use of antibiotics. These practices are a threat to public health and moreover further compromise sustainable production due to microbial resistance issues. Although research is steadily making progress in understanding aquatic health issues and proper remedies are gradually being developed, a vast majority of farmers and specialists, especially in developing countries, still has little awareness of or access to this knowledge.


The joint research efforts of Ghent Universities' Aquaculture R&D consortium has led to ground-breaking developments in the fields of diseases in aquaculture, microbial community management, virology and immunology that may contribute to increasing the sustainability of disease control strategies applied in aquaculture. To respond to the lack of awareness on sustainable strategies to handle aquatic health issues, not only at the industrial level but also at the academic level, this consortium now organises a short specialised training programme on Health Management in Aquaculture. This programme aims at disseminating the state-of-the-art and increasing awareness on the latest developments in sustainable aquatic health management.

Learning Outcomes

The ITP on Aquatic Health Management will contribute to local research and education needs by:

  • Training local experts in new concepts in disease prevention and curative techniques
  • Give hands-on training based on real local issues delivered by the participants
  • Provide tools for dissemination of newly acquired knowledge and skills
  • Welcome newly formed disseminators in a growing network of peers.


The training programme consists of theoretical parts: lectures, case studies, peer-to-peer teaching; and practical parts: wet lab experience (for instance on biofloc operation) and study visits. The lectures, which will include microteaching sessions, will make up the majority of the program. Over a period of 10 weeks, 4 courses will be taught:

A number of guest lectures by international authorities is foreseen by Prof. Yoram Avnimelech, Prof. Jorge Galindo-Villegas and Prof. Olav Vadstein.

Admission Requirements

The programme is designed for aquaculture farm managers, veterinaries and biologists that are active in business, research, higher education, policy making, outreach & dissemination.

Selection criteria include:

  • Academic proficiency (MSc level) or equivalent by experience (Agricultural engineer, Biology, Veterinary medicine or analogues)
  • Language proficiency (e.g. IELTS 6.5 or similar) (except for former UGent master students)
  • Professional experience in health management in aquaculture is recommended
  • Envisaged multiplicator effect (does the candidates' position guarantee effective dissemination of the acquired expertise)

Academic selection will be entrusted to the ITP Board which consists of the main lecturers involved in the programme.