Aquaculturists understand the growth, development and production of aquatic animals. Aquaculturists work to bring a variety of healthy fish, lobsters, crabs and more from aquatic environments to our dinner tables. Additionally, they collect and record growth, production and environmental data and perform routine maintenance of equipment.

What Responsibilities Will I Have?

  • Assist with all aspects of aquatic animal production and care
  • Grow fish and shellfish as cash crops or for release into freshwater or saltwater
  • Supervise and train aquaculture and fish hatchery support workers
  • Conduct and supervise stock examinations to identify diseases or parasites
  • Sort different types of breeding stock
  • Incubate and care for fish in net pens or small ponds
  • Perform routine maintenance of facilities and equipment
  • Operate and maintain freshwater and/or seawater aquaculture systems
  • Provide insight into planning facilities and construction of new aquaculture systems
  • Manage automated building and equipment control systems
  • Provide technical support for various projects with researchers and universities
  • Assist in the development of commercially viable aquaculture systems
  • Design, supervise and implement biological studies on aquatic resources
  • Assess fish populations 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, training, supervising and assisting hatchery workers
  • Provide leadership for delivering education, training and information to a variety of audiences that may include farmers, educators, agency personnel and citizens
  • Find ways to improve spawning, setting, growth rates and disease prevention in hatcheries
  • Assist customers with the application/evaluation of product and support their research projects as necessary
  • Collect trial data and assist in completion of trial reports
  • Implement and follow Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee guidelines

Recommended High School Courses:

  • agricultural education
  • focus on sciences such as biology, environmental science and chemistry

Education/Training Required:

A bachelor’s or master’s degree in fisheries science, biological sciences, aquaculture, natural resource management or a related field of study is needed. Desired experience would include commercial aquaculture, fish propagation and husbandry in a variety of production systems. Teaching and/or extension experience would also be helpful.

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