FISH 324, Winter
Biology and Culture of Aquatic Organisms: Sustainability and the Environment


Course description

This course will explore the concept of sustainability as it applies to the interrelationship between the environment, aquatic species (e.g. biology, health, nutrition) and the culture of aquatic animal and plant species on a global level. Current practices of practical commercial production will be discussed, as will changes and understanding needed to improve the sustainability of aquaculture. Key issues associated with the attainment of sustainability and successful culture for food production and species conservation will be the focus of the lectures. These issues include aquatic and near-shore ecosystem conservation, relationship with fisheries, animal health, water quality, transfer regulations, culture practices, species selection, and others. Lectures are M,W,F from 12:30-1:20 pm.

The Lab session will be held Wed from 1:30-4:20 pm. For this course we will spawn, settle and dissect a variety of species. You will also learn about water quality measurements and recirculating systems. Weekly lab reports are required. These will entail either a synopsis of the field trip or assignment given during the trip and a series of reports written as short scientific papers regarding each lab exercise.

Thus, lab reports will be structured with the following: Title, Author(s), Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, and References.

Each report requires at least one cited reference from a peer reviewed journal paper. For additional references, extra credit may be earned.

Debate: During one lab session we may have a debate (including initial power point presentations from the participants) to discuss the merits and limitations of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website: A consumers guide of Choices for Health Oceans:

Field trips: You will be going on 1-2 field trips during the lab period, and you are required to attend all of them. Possible weekend trips will be optional. There will be questions on the exams related to the field trips scheduled during lab time.

Term paper: You will be required to develop a sustainable aquaculture facility for food production, production of a specific product (ie carageenan from algae, or salmon for sale) or for conservation of a species (i.e. abalone for restoration).

Grading Policy

Evaluation system: There will be two mid-term exams (worth 15% each), home work (10%), a laboratory session (worth 20%: 5% participation, 15% lab reports), a term paper (worth 20%), and a final (worth 20%).

Assignments turned in late will be penalized (5%) for each day they are late unless prior arrangements have been made.

Approximately 65-70% of the material on the exams will be from information presented in lecture, and approximately 30-35% will be from the assigned reading. Study questions will be distributed approximately one week prior to the exams and final. Class time and/or a special review session will be scheduled for discussion and to answer questions.

The two exams will consist of 1-2 case studies in which you will be presented with a situation or dilemma. Your charge will be to provide the best solution and to justify your answer. In addition, short answer (problems, definitions, compare-and-contrast, matching etc.) will also be included. The final exam will be comprehensive.

Required Readings

No text is required. However, articles from the scientific literature or popular applied magazines will be placed on reserve or handed out in class as outlined below.

Reading assignments: The number in parenthesis corresponds to the number of the lecture. All readings will be on electronic reserve. Additional readings may be added periodically to complement the lecture series.

Electronic reserve: Browser requirements: Netscape 4 or better, Internet Explorer 4 or better. UWNetID is required. Adobe Acrobat 4 or better required to view reserve readings in portable document format (pdf). There are some additional issues with specific browser configurations.

Other Items

Lab Sessions:

Week 1: Tour of UW hatchery and NMFS Montlake recirculating facility

Week 2: Tour of zebrafish culture facility and water quality testing

Week 3: DNA extraction and quantification; discussion of PCR as diagnostic tool

Week 4: Run PCRs and make agarose gels

DEBATE: Monterey Bay Aq. SF Watch

Week 5: Disease lab and run gels

Week 6: Field trip: Net pen or mussel raft culture operation 1:30 to 6:30pm

Week 7: Oyster consumption of algae demo;Examine a variety of microalgal species used in bivalve culture; set up for next week’s spawning

Week 8: Abalone and/or bivalve spawning

Week 9: No formal lab: keep your larvae alive week

Week 10: Field trip: Taylor’s Hatchery 1:30 to 6:30pm

Recommended Courses Prior to or Along with Fish 324

Biology: 10 units

Fish 210, 310, and 311 may also be helpful

Please contact Dr. Friedman ( if you have any concerns or questions about these suggested courses.

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Last modified: 12/23/2003 1:06 pm