AFI-32306 Nutrition, Welfare and Reproduction in Aquaculture


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Practical extensively supervised20
Practical intensively supervised28
Problem-based learning8
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. JW Schrama
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. JW Schrama
ing. EH Eding
Examiner(s)prof. dr. JAJ Verreth

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

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


The profitability of aquaculture is depending on various factors (husbandry, nutrition, genetic etc.). These factors can be studied at different aggregation levels (organ, organism, system level, etc.). This course deals with the aspects and mechanisms at the organism level and organ level, with the focus on the first. In the course the various disciplines (e.g., breeding, nutrition, husbandry etc.) will be dealt with in an integrative approach. The focus of this course is on the juvenile and adult (brood stock) life stage of fish (only minor attention is given on the larval stage). Students need to understand how fish grow, reproduce, and stay healthy (incl. welfare aspects) using basic nutritional, physiological, immunological, endocrinological and genetic knowledge and to integrate the various disciplines. Key aspects are bio-energetics, phenotypic plasticity and adaptive capacity. Issues that will be addressed in the course are: metabolic aspects of fish nutrition; impact of anti-nutritional factors on gut health/physiology (limitations/consequences of fishmeal replacement); feed intake regulation mechanisms; endocrinological aspects of reproduction and brood stock management; sex differentiation; stress physiology and fish behaviour in relation to fish welfare.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to: - describe, explain and generalise how major factors, like nutrition, water quality, husbandry and animal related aspect, influence the performance (growth, feed intake, efficiency, mortally and disease occurrence);
- explain, illustrate how, and integrate the role and mechanisms by which nutrition (composition [e.g., energy, protein and carbohydrate content], physical properties, etc.) interact with energy metabolism, protein metabolism, feed intake regulation and waste production;
- demonstrate the principle of formulating fish diets, have knowledge and skills in measuring physical pellet quality, chyme characteristics and gut histology and morphology;
- explain, illustrate and describe the concept of vitality and welfare in aquatic organisms by integrating knowledge on fish behaviour, stress physiology, osmoregulation and endocrine control;
- assess fish welfare aspects by performing behavioural observation and measuring blood stress parameters. - describe, explain and generalize the endocrinology of reproduction and factors influencing sex determination, sex differentiation and semen preservation in fish;
- 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.


- follow lectures;
- perform practical exercises;
- perform computer exercises.


Written exam.


Course book.

Restricted Optional for: MAMAquaculture and Marine Resource ManagementMScA: Aquaculture3WD