This is currently provided at various levels as follows:
Grants are provided by the National Scholarship Foundation on a competitive basis with other subject areas to allow Greek graduates to study abroad to M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels in this area.
There is now a Department of Fish Culture and Fish Pathology at the Veterinary School in Thessaloniki headed by Prof. Penumatikatos. Since 1978, all veterinary students have been required to undergo training in two seminars: in aquaculture and in fish pathology. This is an official, examined area of the veterinary degree curriculum and each seminar consists of some 28 h lectures and 30 h practical work.
A six-month advanced level course for veterinary students wishing to specialize in fish pathology was already been legally established at Thessaloniki. The first of these courses will start in three years time.
A one- to two-week course by Prof. Pneumatikatos and Mr Georgiou has been given as a refresher course to Ministry veterinarians involved in fish disease work.
A short course has been organized for the last two years (1986–1987) by the Greek Productivity Centre and jointly funded by the Greek Government and the EEC. In 1986 its title was “Aquaculture in Greece” and in 1987 “Environmental and ecological production”. In both courses, lectures on fish disease were given by Mr Karanikolas of the National Centre for Marine Research.
A day's lecture, as part of a week's course on aquaculture, are given by Mr Karanikolas on an annual basis to fish farmers in three areas on separate occasions in Arta, Preveza and Lamia.
Seminars are given at Epiros in the north of Greece by Prof. Pneumatikatos on the subject of fish-farming and disease in the trout.
Training provided through the Agricultural Bank includes:
A training programme in aquaculture for Agricultural Bank employees and financed entirely by the Bank. All aspects of aquaculture including disease are covered, though not necessarily at a very advanced level. Training is provided by bank employees with experience and/or overseas experience and training in aquaculture and through seminars given by guest lecturers.
A short course by the Agricultural Bank with the support of EEC funding for 18/25-year-olds employed in the aquaculture industry. Only basic information on disease is supplied.
A bank employee to be trained in fish pathology in Udine, Italy, under the auspices of the COMETT programme of the EEC for the exchange of technology between the EEC countries.
Mr Vorinakis of the Ministry of Agriculture (Vet. Division) in Messolonghi, is about to join the Institute of Technology in Messolonghi, where he will teach basic fish pathology to the students. It is intended that such students will become aquaculturists with a good basic knowledge of disease.
Future training needs in fish disease in Greece
As will be seen from the above, a range of training courses is already provided in Greece in the area of fish disease and it is intended that these will be continued.
Essential requirements for the industry in the future as expansion takes place are likely to be:
Facilities for training veterinary students at Thessaloniki should be expanded to improve the crouses in fish disease. A particular drawback at present is the large number of students attending classes, making practical work in particular difficult to organize. An expansion of staffing and space would considerably improve matters but this will have to be considered in the light of the present cutbacks in University finance. Similarly, better access to critical material is necessary through greater involvement in diagnostic work and, ideally, a field station or specific arrangements to utilize fish farm facilities for practical teaching could considerably improve the quality of instruction given.
In any National Plan for future development, it is recommended to have a Centre or Centres which could be equipped and used for practical training of aquaculturists. This could take the form of “model” farms, if possible with good lecturing and practical work facilities. The Veterinary School of Thessaloniki could perhaps be considered for development as such a centre, to deal particularly with fish disease training in the north of Greece. The National Centre for Marine Research also seems a logical site for the expansion of the training role in the southern part of Greece, with a centre in the Messolonghi area providing a focus for central Greece. The implications for such developments would be the expansion of facilities and staffing in these areas but this would be a natural addition to the research and teaching already being carried out at these sites. These centres could also be used to hold “refresher” courses to veterinarians already involved in the industry, and their role in research and diagnostic work could also be expanded.
The level of overseas training at present sought should be maintained and possibly increased in line with aquaculture development in Greece. As the industry expands in Greece, there may be then the need to consider establishing a formal M.Sc. course in the area of fish disease to supply the Greek industry with well trained staff.
Extension training, as provided already “in the field” to aquaculturists should be continued, at least on the same basis as at present and until teaching centres are further developed. At each farm site, there should be an aquaculturist with a good basic knowledge of fish disease so that early signs of disease are identified and, through contact with the appropriate veterinary authorities, preventive treatment undertaken. The aquaculturist should be especially well trained in the field of parasitology so that he/she may carry out regular microscopic screening of stocks at the site and prevent, through appropriate treatment, serious outbreaks of parasitic disease.