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Latin America: Professional Aquaculture Certification

Education & academia

SOUTH AMERICA and US - A positive response in Spanish speaking countries has obtained the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture from Auburn University (US) to develop a professional certification programme for aquaculture (CAP) with modules in English and Spanish.

Explained to, Yta Antonio Garza, Director International Training and Dissemination of the department, said the CAP contains modules for learning and evaluation to improve understanding of the fundamentals of aquaculture globally.

It therefore certifies the skills of people who are related to aquaculture, who do not always have access to a formal training programme.

In the case of Mexico, said Garza Yta, this year has reached an agreement with the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (FIRA / CONAPESCA) to develop 300 certifications in the next three years for people related to aquaculture.

"This means that we will certify 50 people per semester, alongside certifying aquaculture health committees across the country in places like Puebla and Michoacan. There is also interest in Tamaulipas and Zacatecas to do this also," said the expert.

In this context, the University of Alabama has developed 10 training modules on web support aquaculture.

The aim is to provide training and certification for professionals who would like to "excel in their jobs, with a deeper understanding of environmental, food safety, animal welfare, animal health and social responsibility," adds Yta Garza.

The programme is based on ten broad themes that can be applied to all types of aquaculture operations worldwide. These are: principles of aquaculture, water quality, physiology, breeding management, animal nutrition, aquatic breeding and genetics, animal health, aquaculture production, extension methods and economics of aquaculture.

The course, for the moment, is offered in English and Spanish, but the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture at Auburn University is preparing a Portuguese version soon, with support from the Ministry of Aquaculture in Brazil. There is also interest in promoting this initiative in other Central American countries.