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November 18, 2015

United States

Missouri—GAA to Offer Training Modules on EMS and EHP


The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) has taken the first steps on developing an online aquaculture education program that it hopes will be the first to target the global aquaculture industry as a whole.


The first educational modules of the program will be aimed at teaching shrimp farmers how to manage and eliminate early mortality syndrome (EMS) and Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP).  They’re being developed and will be launched on the GAA-funded Responsible Aquaculture Foundation’s (RAF) Website.  “In the interest of time, we plan to launch the initial modules about EMS and EHP as quickly as possible,” said George Chamberlain, GAA President.  Some of the courses offered will be free, said Chamberlain, including the initial EMS course because “there is an industry-wide need for help on EMS right now.”


The more comprehensive modules will use will take longer to develop, but will likely be ready by early 2016.  For now, Chamberlain said the lessons will be focused on disease management with the main targets being shrimp farmers, but the program will not stop there.  “We need to address aquaculture knowledge across the board, across the seafood chain, really…we want to end up with content on varied species that helps improve global practices.”


Future topics will depend on the results of a survey to determine what the industry thinks is most pertinent.  “We’re looking at the results of the survey to help define what the industry wants.  We do know there will be a lot more content on farming and production, but could also include material on business planning, marketing and other aspects.”


The modules will function much like other online classes, and will “present the various lessons and modules, track the lessons completed by each student, issue certificates, and perhaps offer higher levels of recognition within curriculum areas”, Chamberlain said.  The courses will be mostly reading-based, but will also include photos and videos and students will be evaluated by quizzes.


Although some components will be free, formal recognition of completion, such as certificates “may become the basis for charging a fee,” and the program will eventually need to become self-supporting.


RAF plans to offer courses in other languages, initially Vietnamese and Spanish.


RAF is in the process of forming a 12-20 person Educational Oversight Committee (EOC) to guide the development of the program, something that it discussed during this year’s GOAL conference in Vancouver, Canada.  So far, eight people have volunteered.  The EOC will be made up of participants from a variety of backgrounds, including academic, industry, government and NGOs.


Source: Asean Seafood Magazine.  GAA-Funded Classes on EHP, EMS Management in Shrimp Farming Coming Soon.  November 17, 2015.

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