Aquatic Animal Health Subprogram: Development of a national aquatic animal health curriculum for delivery by tertiary institutions

Project Number:



Adelaide Research and Innovation

Principal Investigator:

Stephen B. Pyecroft

Project Status:


FRDC Expenditure:



Environment, People


The project will address the Aquatic Animal Health Sub Program priority (4) for the Development of a national aquatic animal health curriculum for delivery by tertiary institutions. Trained professionals in aquatic animal health are needed to support the continued development and sustainability of the aquaculture sector within Australia. The productivity and marketability of the aquaculture and fishing industries depend directly on the capacity to promote, monitor, manage, research, and regulate the health and welfare of a wide range of species in a wide range of aquatic environments. Currently training opportunities and resourceful corporate knowledge exist across the country covering only a subset of the core attributes required to meet industry, government and service needs. It is necessary to review available training capacities to develop a standard national curriculum to educate relevant veterinarians and other aquatic health professionals. It will also fulfill the requirements of a number of FRDC priority Program themes. Theme 1 Biosecurity and aquatic animal health by enhancing the development of capability, systems, knowledge and technologies to detect and identify pathogens to mitigate their impact on aquatic animals, ecosystems, profitability and viability. Theme 12 &13 Workforce development by specifically planning through focused educational outputs for future workforce needs and Innovation Skills by aiding in the building of human capability to produce and adopt knowledge technologies and innovative practices Theme 14 Extension and adoption. Having consistently qualified scientific support for the fishing and aquaculture industries there will be timely delivery of accessible, accurate RD&E outputs to all stakeholders. This project plays a pivotal role in fulfilling Objective 5 of Aquaplan 2014-2019, Australia's National Strategic Plan for Aquatic Animal Health.


1. A review of the need, scope and end user market for a national curriculum in aquatic animal health

2. An understating of the current content and provision of aquatic animal health education within the tertiary sector in Australia.

Final Report 2014-403-DLD Aquatic Animal Health Subprogram: Development of a national aquatic animal health curriculum for delivery by tertiary institutions

Final Report
Author(s):Dr Stephen B Pyecroft
Date Published:November 2016

​Principal Investigator: Stephen B. Pycroft

Key Words: Curriculum, Aquatic Animal Health, training, competencies, education, vocational, university, national, bench-marked

Summary: This report summarises the process and outcomes from an interactive workshop which was convened over 1.5 days in Adelaide in February 2014 to forward the possible development of a national aquatic animal health curriculum (NAAHC) for the education of undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational students, by representatives of the Australian aquaculture industry, state and federal governments, universities and vocational trainers.
Education of veterinary and non-veterinary scientists in the skills of AAH are currently ad hoc, sporadic and lack a central theme, reflecting more the expertise in the various institutions providing the education and training rather than a nationally recognised cohesive need for the relevant stakeholders.
Previous workshops and studies have indicated the need for a concise, coherent, well-resourced, stakeholder-directed curriculum to deliver a common aquatic animal health message. This project was the first step in the development of such a framework for teaching aquatic animal health.