From left: PatoGen CEO Jørn Ulheim, Dr Hamish Rodger, and Dr Ana Herrero.
From left: PatoGen CEO Jørn Ulheim, Dr Hamish Rodger, and Dr Ana Herrero.

Fish health companies join forces

PatoGen acquires Ireland's VAI Consulting and appoints founder to key new role

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Ireland-based VAI Consulting has been acquired by Norwegian farmed fish health diagnostics company PatoGen, which has appointed VAI founder Dr Hamish Rodger as its chief fish health officer.

“This is a great day for PatoGen,” said the company’s chief executive Jørn Ulheim in a press release. “With rapid developments in the arenas of fish health and welfare we wanted PatoGen to establish a dedicated team to act upon these opportunities and be a driving part of the solutions for aquaculture. Hamish Rodger will from today lead the newly established fish health unit in PatoGen. We are delighted that such an experienced and globally recognised expert will lead this new team.”

As part of the new set-up, PatoGen will assume the current veterinary consultancy activities of VAI Consulting and both Rodger and VAI’s Dr Ana Herrero will join the PatoGen fish health team.

35 years' experience

Veterinarian Rodger has 35 years of experience on a global basis, having worked in universities in Scotland, the United States, and Ireland, and corporate business (Benchmark Holdings and Fish Vet Group), before establishing and working in private veterinary practice (Vet-Aqua International).

Specialist interest and expertise includes salmonid fish health, histopathology, gill disease, recirculation aquaculture, diagnostics, therapeutics, biosecurity, fish welfare, emerging diseases, viral infections and parasitic control.

Herrero, who is appointed as senior fish health advisor in Patogen, is an aquatic animal vet with experience in research, consultancy and production businesses.

After gaining a Masters in Aquaculture she obtained a PhD in Aquaculture Veterinary Studies at the University of Stirling with focus on gill diseases.

She has worked as a vet for Fish Vet Group providing health services to different production companies in UK. Herrero has also worked as a health manager for Mowi Scotland, looking after the health and welfare of a range of fish farms.

An exciting start

Rodger said PatoGen had been one of VAI Consulting’s clients before the companies joined forces.

“This is an exciting start to 2023 where the application of fish health innovation and expertise in the PatoGen and VAI teams will address and improve current and emerging fish health challenges that aquaculture faces,” he said. “I look forward with great enthusiasm to this new venture. PatoGen is renowned nationally and internationally for innovation and excellent services and will now offer investigative consultancy, training and veterinary services.”

The PatoGen fish health team that Rodger will lead will from 1 May comprise seven members based in Ireland, Scotland and Norway.