The Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences at the Atlantic Veterinary College (Univ of PEI) is an academic centre of expertise in finfish health research intially  funded by the Atlantic Innovation Fund and research partners including several fish farming companies, provincial and federal government departments, and the supporting industries (private aquaculture veterinarians, pharmaceutical companies, vaccine companies, feed companies, etc.).

Who We Are

The AVC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences (AVC-CAHS) was established in 2003 with the overall goal to expand the economic value created by Atlantic Canada’s aquatic food animal industries through epidemiology and disease intervention research activities. AVC-CAHS provides globally recognized expertise in epidemiology and evidence-based research to support aquatic health policy decisions for both government and industry. AVC-CAHS is a founding partner in the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Collaborating Centre for Epidemiology and Risk Assessment of Aquatic Animal Diseases, hosts the PE Innovation Research Chair (Dr. Larry Hammell) in Epidemiology for Aquatic Food Animal Production, and co-hosts the Canada Excellence Research Chair (Dr. Ian Gardner) in Aquatic Epidemiology.

Dr. Larry Hammell is the Director of the Centre and leads the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF6) research initiative in “Healthy Fish, Healthy Environment, Healthy Food”. This multi-stakeholder project is valued at more than $4 million and uses epidemiologic techniques to improve the long term health management of farmed fish.  The studies are based in New Brunswick (supported by the AVC-CAHS field research lab in St. George NB), Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.


The Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences (CAHS) at the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) was established in the fall of 2003 with the overall goal to increase and expand the economic value created by Atlantic Canada=s aquatic food animal industries.  The epidemiology (field-based) and disease intervention (lab-based) research activities contribute to this goal through their objectives:

  • to advance understanding, establish evidence, and develop intellectual property related to more effective health risk identification and health risk management in Atlantic Canada=s finfish industry, with primary emphasis on the epidemiology of infectious and non-infectious disorders, and an initial focus on infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) in the salmon industry;
  • to increase the effectiveness of interventions and management of selected aquatic animal diseases by advancing understanding of disease characteristics, host species characteristics, environmental factors, and alternative interventions; and
  • to further the scientific understanding that contributes to policy decisions in aquatic animal health by government and industry

The CAHS receiveds funding (2002-2008) from the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF), government departments (provincial and DFO), fish farming companies, support industries (clinical veterinary practices, vaccine / pharmaceutical companies, feed companies, etc), and granting agencies (NSERC, AquaNet, NRC-IRAP, and others).  The $4.2 million budget (over five years) was approximately 50% non-AIF funding.  Over $2.1 million was raised in outside funding from more than 30 different sources, allowing CAHS to serve fish farming by improving health management.