Fish Health Diagnostic Laboratory

Research Team Area: Aquaculture Research Program
Project/Location:  Lincoln University George Washington Carver Research Farm

Objective
: To develop a state of the art fish health laboratory providing reliable fish diagnostics and needed services both in-house and outreach/extension.

Summary of Work
: A new laboratory is being implemented to provide fish diagnostics services. Our targeted on line time is fall 2005. The lab will eventually have an outreach/extension system for two way communication regarding management problems, disease diagnosis, water quality issues and general aquaculture needs. An advisory committee will be utilized to meet stakeholders’ needs and services. Quarterly meetings results will be shared among the stakeholders and decision makers. Two fish health workshops will be provided to stakeholders annually. Outreach efforts will be evaluated regularly, results will be disseminated within the industry, educational institutions and government entitles. Lincoln University Agricultural students will be recruited to assist in efforts as needed. Our goal is to develop an information retrieval system, by 2006, for quick diagnostics from remote locations.
 
Recruitment efforts to increase aquaculture interests will be initiated. Methods may include the following: developing Missouri specific aquaculture curricula for use in 8 - K, youth groups and home schools, develop Missouri specific aquaculture curricula for easy adaptation by higher education institutions, utilize the aquaculture facilities for “hands on” experience for interested stakeholders, build the reputation and increase awareness of the ARP (brochure, presentations, exhibits, meetings, publications) and proactively host tours, field days and provide applicable demonstrations.

Impact
:
Currently, fish health services are in great need for the fish farm industry. This need is very well documented. Providing on-site services will be geared towards prevention and treatment of disease. Offering workshops will empower fish farmers to proactively learn best management practices striving for prevention and when needed, how to minimize and treat disease problems. The economic impact will be great.  The cost savings for the fish farmers will be great; this savings will be passed on to the consumer.
 
Recruiting students and offering aquaculture educational opportunities targeting commercial operations will fill a currently unmet need. Commercial aquaculture has huge potential for future opportunities such as self-employment, working with the industry, research and education. Educated students will fill a void where there is a current need for qualified staff. Ultimately, the Missouri agricultural industry and employment of qualified staff will have a positive impact on the economics of the state.

For more information contact:

Cindy Borgwordt
Fish Health Specialist
LU Cooperative Extension Small Animal Research Facility
1220 Chestnut St.
Jefferson City, MO  65101
Phone: (573) 681-5540
Email:
BorgwordtC@LincolnU.edu