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Course Number: AQS 216
Course Title: Elasmobranch Husbandry
Credit Hours: 2
Lecture Hours: 20
Lecture/Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Special Fee: none
Explores the history of captive shark and ray management, current regulations, legislation, and conservation of elasmobranchs. Emphasizes requirements associated with keeping a healthy population of elasmobranchs.
Intended Outcomes for the Course
- Identify commonly kept species of elasmobranchs (sharks, skates and rays).
- Identify proper nutrition, commonly encountered health conditions, and common behavior associated with elasmobranchs in captive environments.
- Discuss factors necessary for the safe handling, immobilization and transport of elasmobranchs.
- Discuss factors influencing the long-term success in keeping elasmobranchs in controlled captive environments.
Course Activities and Design
The format for this course is a combination of lecture, demonstration, and project experience to provide necessary skills in how to properly care for elasmobranch species in a captive controlled environment. Instruction will be based at the OCCC Central Campus and will include guest lectures from industry professionals and field trips to local and regional public aquarium/zoo facilities.
Outcome Assessment Strategies
- Participation in classroom activities and discussions.
- Written paper(s) on select elasmobranch species husbandry utilizing information resources and lecture based content delivered.
- Knowledge assessment through scheduled interactions with industry professionals.
- Scheduled quizzes and examinations to evaluate knowledge of standard industry criteria for the identification, health management, handling and long term success of keeping elasmobranchs in a captive environment.
Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)
- History and current status of elasmobranch species kept in controlled environments.
- Commonly kept elasmobranchs in aquariums.
- Anatomy and physiology of elasmobranchs.
- Conservation, research and educational value of elasmobranchs in aquarium collections.
- Handling and transportation of elasmobranchs.
- Health management of elasmobranchs in captive controlled environments.
- Nutrition and growth of elasmobranchs in aquariums.
- Breeding and reproduction of elasmobranchs in captive environments.
- Behavior of elasmobranchs in aquariums.
- Unique and uncommon elasmobranch collections.
- Evolution of elasmobranch husbandry over time to modern day techniques and associated technology.
- Survey and selection of commonly kept elasmobranchs based on compatibility, care requirements and conservation status.
- Identification of key anatomical characteristics in elasmobranchs and the relation to captive controlled environments.
- Exploration of impact of captive environments on elasmobranch behavior and physiology.
- Safe and effective application of tools and techniques in properly handling elasmobranchs during collection and transportation.
- Safe and effective application of tools and techniques in properly handling elasmobranchs during acclimation and introduction to aquarium environments.
- Safe and effective application of tools and techniques in properly handling and immobilizing elasmobranchs during routine physical examinations.
- Principles of quarantine, disease identification and treatment in managing the health of elasmobranchs in aquariums.
- Relationship of food selection, storage, handling, preparation and delivery in maintaining proper nutrition for elasmobranchs in controlled environments.
- Rationale of keeping elasmobranchs in aquariums and the role of education, conservation and research associated.
- Use of record keeping and data collection in managing elasmobranch collections in aquariums.
- Identification of reproductive strategies of elasmobranchs and their role in captive breeding programs.
- Exploration of learning behaviors of elasmobranchs and the role of enrichment to enhance and aid elasmobranch husbandry.
- Safe and effective techniques used when diving with elasmobranchs in aquariums.
- Considerations for the design and implementation of facilities, exhibitions and enclosures used for elasmobranch collections.
- Survey of unique and uncommon elasmobranchs kept in aquariums and the challenge of future collections.
- Management of wild elasmobranch species in a captive environment.
- Diversity of elasmobranch species and requirements for husbandry.
- Regulations and permits for obtaining and caring for elasmobranchs.
- Compatibility of aquarium inhabitants.
- Conservation status and ethics of keeping elasmobranchs in aquariums.
- Safe practices when handling and caring for elasmobranchs.
- Evaluate a safe environment and behaviors associated with handling and caring for sharks, skates and rays.
- Identify and apply nomenclature of elasmobranchs commonly kept in aquariums.
- Properly select and determine compatibility of elasmobranchs for aquarium collections.
- Determine proper food rations for elasmobranchs in aquariums.
- Identify nutritional requirements and food storage, preparation and delivery techniques for elasmobranchs in aquariums.
- Identify common diseases and treatments for managing the health of elasmobranchs in aquariums.
- Determine proper collection, transport and acclimation tools and techniques for elasmobranchs to aquarium systems.
- Identify common standards, considerations and requirements for aquarium systems holding elasmobranchs.
- Administer techniques for the immobilization of elasmobranchs.
- Identify reproductive strategies and breeding requirements of elasmobranchs in aquariums.
- Evaluate record keeping and data collection for elasmobranchs in captive environments.
- Identify behavioral enrichment techniques and programs for elasmobranchs in aquarium collections.