As part of our ongoing commitment to highlight opportunities available to students and early career professionals in fish health, we'd like to take a moment to talk about the certification process. Individuals can be certified as an Aquatic Animal Health Inspector or a Fish Pathologist.
The Aquatic Animal Health Inspector provides "aquatic animal health inspection services for non-mammalian species as mandated by domestic and foreign regulatory agencies…This individual has the resources to detect clinical and/or carrier disease states, as specified in the AFS/FHS Blue Book, the OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals, etc., as well as being knowledgeable of the necessary current sampling, reporting and regulatory requirements required to properly manage aquatic animal populations."
Conversely, the certified Fish Pathologist serves "fisheries programs and aquaculture through the evaluation and diagnosis of fish health problems, through responsible recommendations for disease control, and through the administration of programs designed to enhance the health of cultured and free-ranging fishes."
The necessary qualifications differ between the two and can be found on the individual certification website under the standards and procedures heading. The requirements can seem a little daunting at first particularly the required coursework. However, the Professional Standards Committee along with Doug Munson is working to make certification attainable for all fish health professionals, which will include accepting online courses for credit.
If you're interested in the learning more about the certification process, we highly encourage you to look at the website and keep an eye out for upcoming announcements regarding this process.