Increasing capacity building for the Mediterranean aquaculture sector through training is one of the core activities of PerformFISH. The training carried out by RDI performers or industry in PerformFISH is improving the professional skills and competence of those working and training within the blue economy.
Upcoming Training Courses
As part of its capacity building activity, PerformFISH is preparing a series of training courses in the field of fish health and welfare, that will be held on-line between March and June 2021. The courses will be based on multidisciplinary integrated diagnostic approach and effective management of preventive, therapeutic and welfare measures focusing on the findings of the PerformFISH project. The courses will be divided into two different type of activities:
- Practical Short Training Courses on Different Aspects of Diagnostics: These short, online courses will focus on different aspects of diagnostics in sea bass and sea bream diseases and health management such as basic diagnostic methodologies and protocols, specific parasitological diagnostic and specific diagnostic methodologies, and protocols in microbiology. Advances, methods, and standards derived from the different PerformFISH activities will also be presented in these sessions. Three independent sessions on different topics will be scheduled. These courses are designed for farm technicians, vets, research fellows and master and PhD students willing to learn more on new diagnostic tools for seabream and seabass.
- Discussion on how to manage a health issue on-farm: These sessions are short sessions (90 minutes) scheduled in the afternoon-evening. They focus on mock cases based on real situations in sea bream and sea bass health and disease management designed by the organising team. Session participants will be invited to send in advance and present in the session their own proposed recommendations or proposed solutions for each case. All proposals will be shared and discussed. Three sessions with different cases will be scheduled. These sessions are designed for experienced professionals who want to learn more about how to manage diseases on-farm.
PerformFISH Young Researchers
Lisen Li is one of the young researchers working on the PerformFISH project. Lisen Li has an MSc in Aquaculture from Shanghai Ocean University (SHOU), Shanghai, China and is registered for a PhD at the Universidade do Algarve, Faro, Portugal working with P10, CCMAR. Lisen’s PhD is directed at understanding how Gilthead sea bream and European sea bass egg quality affects larval and juvenile quality. The outcomes of his work will be translated to industry, providing additional management tools for egg quality monitoring. Lisen started his project in March 2018.
Lisen’s work has now come to fruition and he recently published it in the journal Developmental and Comparative Immunology (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dci.2020.103772). In this article Lisen looked at the evolution of the lysozyme family in vertebrates and then focussed on the forms present in sea bream and sea bass. This enzyme is present in many tissues at the surface of the body and has an important role in immune defence because it breaks down the bacterial cell wall and so provides protection against bacterial invasion. Lisen found that fish have both G- and C-lysozyme forms but also identified for the first time in fish a more recently identified family member lactalbumin, which was extremely high in sea bream eggs. As part of his work Lisen developed an evolutionary model to explain lysozyme gene family evolution from the invertebrates (like bivalves) through to the vertebrates. But why is this work relevant for aquaculture? Fish eggs contain lysozyme presumably to protect them from bacteria and Lisen found that the activity varied during development and when he looked at gene transcripts for the different forms of lysozyme in sea bream eggs and larvae he found their expression was significantly different between eggs and early larvae from different sea bream broodstock suggesting that the mother provides immune protection in sea bream, which is similar to what happens in humans.
Babak Najafpour is carrying out his PhD at CCMAR, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal, in the context of the PerformFISH project.
Babak says, “My Ph.D. thesis targets sea bass and sea bream larvae and juveniles. I am working to understand the biological factors that influence the production quality in hatcheries. One important factor is the immune capacity including the role of the microbiome. At the Aquaculture Europe 2019 conference in Berlin, Germany, I reported my results about complement system evolution. They showed a big expansion in the number of genes for complement 3 (C3) in the fish and particularly in the sea bream that has 9 different forms. This is important for other studies I have been carrying out in my PhD thesis and is improving understanding of the complement system, which is important as one of the first lines of defence against pathogens. I am now trying to understand the interaction of the larvae with their environment, how this has shaped their microbiome, and how this affects the immune system. One of my important goals is to find gene and microbiome markers that we can relate to quality. I hope that the results of my PhD projects will help hatcheries manage their production and researchers that work on the evolution of the sea bass and sea bream and immune system.”
Profile coming soon
Past Training Courses
The Advanced Training Course “Diagnostics and Prevention for Fish Parasite Control in Aquaculture” was held in Zaragoza, Spain, from 21 to 25 October 2019. The event was organised by the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), through the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (IAMZ), and the ParaFishControl project, with the collaboration of PerformFISH, MedAID, and the University of Zaragoza.
The course was attended by twenty-five aquaculture experts from 13 countries, including research, policy and industry representatives. The primary objective of the course was to provide integrated information on fish parasites affecting marine and freshwater farmed fish in the Mediterranean region, focusing on the most recent findings on the main parasitic diseases, diagnostic methods, disease assessments and preventive and control measures.
The ParaFishControl, PerformFISH and MedAID projects provided attendants with the their latest techniques to diagnose and prevent parasitic diseases in Mediterranean aquaculture farms, and also shared their insights on newly tested alternative treatments and their efficacy. The practical design of the course will allow the attendants to implement what they have learnt on their day-to-day work.
The MedAID project has now developed two on-line modules based on this training course. The first one is provided by Dr Francesc Padrós from the University of Barcelona and Dr Carlos Zarza from Skretting ARC. This module focuses on parasitic diseases prevention, remediation and mitigation. The second module is provided by Dr Georgios Rigos from the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research and it focuses on the management of parasitic diseases. Both modules are available here: www.medaid-h2020.eu/index.php/fishparasites.