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Career in Aquaculture


What is an Aquaculture?

Aquaculture is the process of rearing, breading and harvesting of aquatic species, both animals and plants, in controlled aquatic environments like the oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds and streams. It serves different purposes including; food production, restoration of threatened and endangered species populations, wild stock population enhancement, building of aquariums, and fish cultures and habitat restoration


What are the duties of Aquaculturist?

  • 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

Types of Aquaculture

1. Mariculture

Mariculture is aquaculture that involves the use of sea water. It can either be done next to an ocean, with a sectioned off part of the ocean or in ponds separate from the ocean, but containing sea water all the same. The organisms bred here range from molluscs to sea food options like prawn and other shellfish, and even seaweed.

Growing plants like seaweed are also part of mariculture. These sea plant and animal species find many uses in manufacturing industries such as in cosmetic and jewellery where collagen from seaweed is used

to make facial creams. Pearls are picked from mollusc and made into fashion items.


2. Fish farming

Fish farming is the most common type of aquaculture. It involves the selective breeding of fish, either in fresh water or sea water, with the purpose of producing a food source for consumption. Fish farming is highly exploited as it allows for the production of cheap source of protein.

Furthermore, fish farming is easier to do than other kinds of farming as fish are not care intensive, only requiring food and proper water conditions as well temperatures. The process is also less land intensive as the size of ponds required to grow some fish species such as tilapia is much smaller than the space required growing the same amount of protein from beef cattle.


3. Algaculture

Algaculture is a type of aquaculture involving the cultivation of algae. Algae are microbial organisms that share animal and plant characteristics in that they are motile sometimes like other microbes but they also contain chloroplasts that make them green and allow them to photosynthesis just like green plants. However, for economic feasibility, they have to be grown and harvested in large numbers. Algae are finding many applications in today’s markets. Exxon mobile has been making strides in developing them as a new source of energy.


4. Intergrated multitrophic aquaculture

IMTA is an advanced system of aquaculture where different tropic levels are mixed into the system to provide different nutritional needs for each other. Notably, it is an efficient system because it tries to emulate the ecological system that exists in the natural habitat.

The IMTA makes use of these intertrophic transfers of resources to ensure maximum resource utilization by using the waste of larger organisms as food sources for the smaller ones. The practice ensures the nutrients are recycled, meaning the process is less wasteful and produces more products.


What is the work environment of Aquaculturist?

An aquaculturist work environment usually involves office work as well as outdoor activity. Aquaculture farms and fisheries usually are in environments along the coast or waterways, and a specialist must spend time in those environments maintaining the aquaculture system and collecting data. Office work involves inputting the collected data into a database used for analysis about the marine environment and aquaculture system. The aquaculture specialist must also prepare reports and other publications to communicate the collected data and analysis to the public, private industries or other interested parties


Work Schedule

  • In most cases, you would have to live in a rural or remote area, close to water.

  • In 'Open Sea' fish farming, workers live on residential barges at fish farms off the west coast, on a shift work basis.

  • Working hours can be unsocial; including evenings and weekends, and you may have to work alone at times. You would normally have a 40-hour week.

  • You would work outdoors in all weathers and it will often be wet and cold.

  • You might have to do heavy lifting.

  • You may have to enter water, in pools, the sea or lochs, to check fish and carry out maintenance.

  • You may need to work from a boat.

  • You would need to be able to cope with the sight of blood, and you would wear protective clothing.

Skills and Abilities

1. Effective Communication

Having good communication skills is among the most important skills for every manager. Unless you can communicate with the ones you supervise, the rest of the skills really doesn’t matter.

Every successful aquaculture manager enjoys working with people. They need to be able to send others the right message and make sure that the message is understood. The type of power that stems from communication is increasingly important.

2. Decision Making

Next on the list of skills that managers in aquaculture need to have is solid decision making. Even if this means that occasionally they have to make unpopular decisions and convey messages that are not well-received – having this important skill will put them in the forefront of every organization.

Decision making is also closely related to having an analytic mind, which is also useful and can eliminate the filters that are often placed by emotions. Making the right decisions, after all, means going with your gut, even if they are not popular or approved by everyone.

3. Innovation

Aquaculture is definitely an industry that is embracing innovation on many levels. Therefore, every manager needs to grasp technology and how the market can be innovated in a more efficient way.

A great manager will always look forward to creating a radicalized and revamped strategy that is committed to driving the business forward.

4. Time Management

Just like innovation, aquaculture is an industry that is time-dependent. A successful aquaculture manager needs to know this when doing his job. Moreover, they need to be “all in” and dedicated to the success of the entire team and not just their goals.

In simple words, managers should delegate tasks and complete everything ahead of time or within it.

5. Patience

Last but not the least in our list of skills that aquaculture managers need to have is patience. Even though everyone expects things done quickly, managers need to be patient and handle everything with patience.

At the end of the day, patience is the one virtue that guides the organization to success through the growing pains of learning to lead.


What is the educational requirement for Aquaculturist?

Aquaculture involves the farming of fish, crustaceans, and aquatic plants for recreation or consumption. Associate through doctoral degree programs related to aquaculture can be found at many colleges and universities. Undergraduate programs cover topics in fish spawning, hatchery maintenance, aquatic plants, fish diseases, aquatic ecosystems, fish nutrition and water quality monitoring. Students in masters and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in aquaculture and fisheries can choose concentrations that fit with their research or career interests, such as fish nutrition, water quality, aquaculture engineering, fish genetics, hatchery production and fish pathology.


Salary

Aquaculture is a viable career option. With large paths of development lying ahead, the job returns are unlimited. Fresher’s can expect a pay package ranging between Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000. Farming supervisors can get a salary between Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000.


Careers related to Aquaculture:

  • Technician: A fish farming technician is responsible for manning the areas where the fishes and the molluscs are bred. It is also his responsibility to ensure that the water is kept clean, adequate and regular supply of food is provided to the fishes.

  • Managerial Personnel: The person who is working at a fish farm under a managerial capacitance has to oversee the production, distribution and sales aspects of the fishes bred at the farm. Additionally, the manager is also responsible for the maintenance of the fish farm and the necessary records.

  • Bio-technologists and other applied sciences’ professionals take up the mantle of technical detailing in a fish farm. The technical details pertain to the overall functioning of electrical equipments and the growth aspect of the fishes being bred in the farm.

Frequently asked questions?

Where to work as Aquaculturist?

  • Commercial fish farms and feed producers

  • Federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal government departments

  • Colleges, universities, and research institutes

  • Pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms

  • Marine science institutions and aquariums

  • Self-employed consultant

What are the ways to increase production Aquaculture production?

Invest in technological innovation and transfer. Aquaculture is a young industry—decades behind that of livestock farming. Improvements in breeding technology, disease control, feeds and nutrition, and low-impact production systems are interlinked areas where science can complement traditional knowledge to improve efficiency. These sorts of innovations—whether led by farmers, research institutions, companies, or governments—have been behind productivity gains in every part of the world.

Focus beyond the farm. Most aquaculture regulations and certification schemes focus at the individual farm level. But having many producers in the same area can lead to cumulative environmental impacts—such as water pollution or fish diseases—even if everyone is following the law. Spatial planning and zoning can ensure that aquaculture operations stay within the surrounding ecosystem’s carrying capacity and can also lessen conflicts over resource use.

Shift incentives to reward sustainability. A variety of public and private policies can give farmers incentives to practice more sustainable aquaculture.

Leverage the latest information technology. Advances in satellite and mapping technology, ecological modeling, open data, and connectivity mean that global-level monitoring and planning systems that encourage sustainable aquaculture development may now be possible. A platform integrating these technologies could help governments improve spatial planning and monitoring, help the industry plan for and demonstrate sustainability, and help civil society report success stories and hold industry and government accountable for wrongdoing.

Eat fish that are low on the food chain. Fish farming can ease pressure on marine ecosystems if farmed fish don’t need large amounts of wild fish in their diets. Consumers should therefore demand species that feed low on the food chain—“low-tropic” species such as tilapia, catfish, carp, and bivalve mollusks. 


What is the risk of Aquaculture?

  • Disease and Sea Lice: When any type of organism is confined in high density the spread of disease and parasites can become more rapid.

  • Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA): ISA (aka hemorrhagic kidney syndrome) is a lethal disease of Atlantic salmon caused by an orthomyxovirus. While this virus appears to only cause disease in Atlantic salmon, both wild and farmed, it can also infect the sea run brown trout, rainbow trout and other wild fish such as herring.

  • Other Fish Diseases Occurring in Aquaculture: Spring viremia of carp (SVC) is a systemic, acute and highly contagious viral disease caused by Rhabdovirus.

What are the current laws and regulation of Aquaculture?

The responsibility of enacting laws is split between the federal and state governments. In addition to the historical laws the states may enact laws related to fisheries and pollution of waters and waterways.

The government of India launched the National Fisheries Development Board in 2006 which focuses on

  • Aquaculture in Ponds and Tanks

  • Fisheries Development in Reservoirs.

  • Coastal Aquaculture

  • Deep Sea Fishing and Tuna Processing

Is Aquaculture an Art or Science?

Aquaculture, a science and art of the sea. Aquaculture is the culture of aquatic organisms, including fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants. Aquaculture is the activity that allows production through the cultivation of aquatic organisms (animals and plants)


Is Fish Farming for You?

Operating a fish farm is similar to operating a cattle feedlot. Closely packed and heavily fed fish must be watched closely to detect problems early before they turn into disasters. This is difficult because fish cannot be readily seen. New fish farmers may feel like they are working blindfolded and without sleep until they become comfortable using water quality test equipment, water color changes, and feeding response as their “eyes” to detect early warnings of problems. Nighttime work is done throughout the warm months and includes checking dissolved oxygen levels and running aeration equipment as needed.


Which are the best colleges to study course related to Aquaculture?

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE [B.SC] (AQUACULTURE)

  • Calicut University

  • Mahatma Gandhi University - [MGU]

  • Sri Durga Malleswari Siddhartha Mahila Kalasala- [SDMSM]

  • Dodla Kousalyamma Government College for Women

  • Jawahar Bharati Degree & P.G College

  • Khejuri College


Which are the popular employment areas for B.Sc. Aquaculture?

Agriculture Sectors

Genetics Research Centers

Aquaculture Consultant

Associate Research Scientist

Asst. Technical Manager

Relationship Manager

Teacher & Lecturer


Does Aquaculture specialist engage in conservation work?

Aquaculture specialists also take part in conservation issues affecting the world's oceans and riparian waterways. Specialist advises and provides technical support in areas or regions that must develop plans to adapt to environmental changes, such as global warming, that affect aquaculture activities. Aquaculture conservation work generally requires the highest level of education and specialized experience for an aquaculture specialist.


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