DEMAND from fish farmers for a containment course has led to the launch of an online e-learning version by the NAFC Marine Centre of the University of the Highlands and Islands.
The Introduction to Fish Farm Containment course is aimed at fish farm workers and covers a wide range of topics relevant to setting up and maintaining aquaculture facilities to prevent the escape of stock, and complying with relevant legislation and other requirements.
The launch of the e-learning version means that students can undertake the course at a time and place that suits them, without having to attend college.
Since the face-to-face version was launched in March this year, some 129 students have been certificated in Shetland and Orkney, said NAFC’s aquaculture training section leader Stuart Fitzsimmons. This version will still be available and can also be delivered on the mainland if requested.
‘We have had a lot of requests from the aquaculture industry for more flexible training,’ said Fitzsimmons.
‘It is not always convenient for workers to attend college on a fixed date, especially if they live or work in more remote areas, but this new e-learning version means that they can complete the course at work or at home, and at any time.
‘It also expands the potential market for this course well beyond Shetland.’
The e-learning course has been designed and developed by NAFC’s Saro Saravanan (pictured) from the original version developed and delivered by Kenny Gifford.
This introductory training course discusses and outlines the main points of the Technical Standard for Scottish Finfish Aquaculture 2015.
It is aimed at marine and fresh water husbandry, site managers and maintenance staff. By the end of the course the candidates should have better understanding of their site with respect to containing stock and prevent escapes, said Fitzsimmons.
The new e-learning course uses the UHI’s ‘Blackboard Learn+’ virtual learning environment. Once enrolled, students will be able to access the course via any internet enabled device (including tablets and smartphones).
Simple online instructions guide them through the course, which should take about 10 hours to complete. Students will be able to contact an NAFC tutor for assistance if required.
The NAFC Marine Centre is also developing an online e-learning version of its one-day Fish Welfare course.