Aquaculturists understand the growth, development and production of aquatic animals. Aquculturist work to bring a variety healthy fish, lobsters, crabs etc. to our dinner table from aquatic environments.
What responsibilities will I have?
- Assist with all aspects of fish husbandry including feeding, fish grading, fish movement, water quality monitoring and fish inventory control
- Grow fish and shellfish as cash crops or for release into freshwater or saltwater
- Supervise and train aquaculture and fish hatchery support workers
- Collect and record growth, production, and environmental data
- Conduct and supervise stock examinations to identify diseases or parasites
- Sort different types of breeding stock in order
- Handle incubation and short-term rearing of fish in net pens or small ponds
- Conduct routine maintenance of your facility and equipment
- Oversee operation and maintenance of freshwater and/or seawater aquaculture systems
- Provide insight into planning facilities and construction of new aquaculture systems
- Manage automated building and equipment control systems
- Provides technical support for various projects with researchers and universities
- Assist those interested in aquaculture in the development of commercially viable aquaculture systems and processes
- Design, supervise and implement biological studies on aquatic resources
- Assess fish population in various bodies of water
- Compile, analyze and interpret biological data and compile technical reports.
- Identify and treat diseases found in fish populations
- Manage fish inventory and production in a hatchery
- Administer and execute policies relating to operations, train, supervise and assist hatchery workers
- Provide leadership for delivering education, training and information to a variety of audiences that may farmers, educators, agency personnel and citizens
- Work to find ways to improve spawning, setting, growth rates and disease prevention in hatcheries
What education and training is required?
A bachelor’s degree in fisheries or biological sciences or master’s degree in Aquaculture or related field of study would be beneficial. Desired experience would include commercial aquaculture experience, fish propagation and husbandry in a variety of production systems. Teaching and/or Extension experience would also be helpful.
To pursue a career as an aquaculturist:
- The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, a focus on sciences such as biology, environmental science and chemistry.
Aquaculturist may be employed by large commercial fisheries who produce and harvest fish as well as biological research companies who study environmental impacts of and on aquatic species. They may also be employed by state and government environmental agencies or at park or aquariums.
Future Job Market / Outlook
The future outlook for aquaculturist will be good over the next five years.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations
- National Aquaculture Association
- World Aquaculture Society
- Global Aquaculture Alliance
- American Fisheries Society