AFI-32306 Nutrition and Health in Aquaculture


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work8
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. JW Schrama
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. JW Schrama
prof. dr. ir. GF Wiegertjes
F Kokou
MAJ Nederlof
Examiner(s)dr. ir. JW Schrama
prof. dr. ir. GF Wiegertjes

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety and ZSS06200 Fieldwork Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

AFI-20306 Aquaculture and Fisheries; AFI-31306 Life History of Aquatic Organisms.


Aquaculture is increasingly important for human food supply. Two key challenges which should enable the global growth of the aquaculture sector are: 1) the production of sufficient, high quality and sustainable feeds and 2) maintaining healthy (shell)fish. In this course, general aspects and current issues in domains of nutrition and health of (shell)fish are addressed. Sustainability of aquaculture involves various biological factors/disciplines (husbandry, water quality/management, nutrition, health, etc.). This course has an integrative approach to these different factors from organ to organismal level and is focussing on nutrition and health aspects and their interactions. The major focal point in this course are the juvenile and adult (brood stock) life stages of fish and shellfish (shrimp). Only minor attention is given to larval stages.

Students will be taught to understand how (shell)fish grow and stay healthy (including welfare aspects) building on assumed basic knowledge of nutrition, physiology, pathology, immunology, and genetics to integrate the various disciplines. Key subjects are: metabolic aspects of fish nutrition; nutrient requirements; impact of diet on gut health/physiology (e.g., limitations/consequences of fishmeal replacement); feed intake regulation mechanisms; prevention of fish diseases; healthy fish feeds as drivers of innate immunity and general disease resistance; stress physiology and behaviour in relation to fish welfare.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- outline the effects of environmental factors (such as nutrition, water quality, etc.) on performance, disease, health and welfare of aquatic animals;
- illustrate the role of nutritional factors with respect to energy, protein metabolism, feed intake regulation and waste production, including underlying mechanisms;
- demonstrate the ability to formulate fish diets and measure pellet quality and feed intake in aquatic organisms;
- assess fish welfare and health aspects based on pathological and functional knowledge on skin, gut and gill barriers and by measuring behavior and blood stress/health parameters.  
- illustrate the role of healthy feeds with respect to innate immunity and identify the involved mechanism and concepts; 
- elaborate on the concept of vitality and welfare in aquatic organisms by integrating your knowledge on fish nutrition, water quality and health;
- summarise and present orally a scientific research article and to formulate a generalized concept of factors involved on specific topics being dealt with in case-studies on the basis of 3 to 4 articles.


- lectures;
- practical exercises;
- tutorial exercises.


- written test with approx. 35 multiple choice questions and approx. 5 open questions;
- participation in practical and tutorial exercises are obligatory. 


Course guide.

Restricted Optional for: MASAnimal SciencesMScB: Spec. B - Nutrition and Metabolism5AF
MAMAquaculture and Marine Resource ManagementMScA: Spec. A - Aquaculture5AF