Experimental Fish

Health and Welfare of Fish in Research
An online training program

Certificate Overview

As fish become increasingly important as experimental animals, there is a growing need for training researchers in the principles of laboratory fish care and welfare and the proper care and handling techniques associated with these animals.

The Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island, in partnership with the UPEI Office of Continued Education and Professional Development, have designed this online training program to comply with the requirements outlined by the Canadian Council on Animal Care, American Association of Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS), Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC), and Animal Welfare Committee of the American Veterinary Medicine Association with special reference to aquatic animal welfare and the specific needs of laboratory fish as research models.

Experimental Fish provides participants with an overview of the regulatory and ethical issues involved in experimental animal care and the practical aspects of aquatic animal care. Experimental Fish is designed for individuals and organizations that use finfish in research, teaching, and testing applications.

Experimental Fish is available in two versions:

The online course takes approximately five (5) hours to complete. Participants have up to one month from the date of registration to complete the course, unless otherwise specified. 

The course contains seven (7) modules. At the end of each module participants are required to complete a short quiz directly related to that module’s content. The minimum acceptable passing grade for each module’s quiz is 80%. 

Upon completion of the modules and successful completion of the accompanying quizzes, participants receive a certificate of completion from the University of Prince Edward Island. The Canadian and American versions will certify that the participant has completed the core components of ethical and sound laboratory fish care and welfare within their countries.


Experimental Fish will instruct participants on:

  • The role and structure of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (Canadian Version)
  • The regulations, policies and guidelines that oversee the care, handling, and human treatment of animals in the United States (American Version)   
  • The ethical issues surrounding experimental animal use
  • Factors (e.g. stress, disease, husbandry) affecting research
  • Anesthesia and euthanasia for fish
  • Considerations of selection and set-up of laboratory holding systems
  • Water quality parameters
  • Feed and nutrition for fish
  • Aquatic animal identification and monitoring
  • Recognizing pain, stress, and distress in aquatic animals
  • Interdependence of health factors for aquatic animals
  • Humane endpoints
  • Physical, chemical, and biological hazards in aquatic animal facilities

Registration – Continuous Intake

Experimental Fish’s continuous intake allows participants to register and begin the course at any time throughout the year. Participants can expect to receive their online login/password information by email within two (2) business days of registering for the course.


$150 CAD plus tax

For customized aquatic workshops, please contact Dr. Jeffrey Davidson at davidson@upei.ca.