Improving Fish Health and Aquaculture With Dr. Ehab Misk - NBIF - FINB
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Improving Fish Health and Aquaculture With Dr. Ehab Misk

Aquaculture is a huge industry in New Brunswick and across Atlantic Canada, but what happens if a lone salmon or a family of trout in a hatchery is exposed to an infection?

They can’t simply walk over to a medical clinic or give their family doctor a ring, and despite advances that have been made in the pharmaceutical industry, there are few readily accessible infection models and consistent treatments available to hatchery operators. In this case, one bad apple really could spoil the entire bushel.

And that’s exactly the issue that Dr. Ehab Misk’s research is aiming to address.

Dr. Misk, who holds a BSc and MSc in veterinary medicine from Assiut University in Egypt and a Ph.D. in pathobiology from University of Guelph, joined the Huntsman Marine Science Centre in April 2018 after being named the NBIF’s Innovation Research Chair in Aquatic Biosciences. When the Huntsman, a not-for-profit research and educational institution in St. Andrews, decided to diversify its research portfolio, it needed to bring in an expert in aquatic animal health.

Dr. Misk certainly fits that description. When he was reached for a phone interview, Dr. Misk explained that his research has long dealt with developing infection models for freshwater and seawater fish that help create a stable environment for the testing of medicine and other treatments. These treatments can help hatcheries run more smoothly, improve animal safety and make sure that a better product ends up on dinner plates around New Brunswick.

When it comes to his future priorities at the Huntsman, it’s clear that Dr. Misk is just getting started. As he related, his first order of business is to provide additional training as required to the talented team of technicians around him. Then he’ll expand his research into topics like enhanced oxygen environments, which measures the impact that heightened oxygen levels and related aquaculture conditions have on fish disease levels. He’s confident that these research projects will become self-sustaining and cement the Huntsman as a major national player in aquatic animal health studies.

Since its inception, the purpose of the NBIF’s research chair program has been to increase cooperation between the private sector and academia. NBIF identifies growth opportunities within New Brunswick and provides guidance and funding to fill new and existing positions with exceptionally qualified scientists from around the world.

With researchers like Dr. Misk working every day to develop new products and processes for businesses in New Brunswick, it’s as clear as ever – the future is an endless sea of possibilities.