Are you interested in artificially farming some form of seafood? This career is relatively new and is fascinating. Perhaps you have become interested in becoming an aquacultural manager. The things you will be doing include directing/coordinating personnel that handle fish hatchery production or various cooperatives, corporations and private owners. You’ll be required to have knowledge of environmental requirements of certain fish species, be able to select and prepare various sites for fish cultivation. You’ll be responsible for selection and maintenance of brood stock. You’ll also have to be able to respond to unexpected problems such as fire, drought and insect infestations. You’ll also have to generate reports that are required by state and federal laws. Other duties will include having the ability to improve fish hatching and growth rates as well as prevent disease. You’ll also have to keep an eye on resources (monitoring and controlling) such as budget.
This career requires that you have background in biology, food production, administration and management, critical thinking, communication skills and be a good listener.
You have two options here which include online and traditional classroom coursework. Many online courses offer a certificate program (one semester), diploma coursework (two semesters) and a two-year AAS (associates of applied science) degree in Aquaculture Technology.
This area has a number of educational possibilities. There are non-credit courses available for farmers, investors, entrepreneurs and anyone interested in learning about aquaculture who don’t want to bother with a degree. These courses are available on line as well as aquacultural centers.
Aquaculture programs usually include courses such as aquaculture, advanced aquaculture part I and II as well as aquaponics and sustainable agriculture. Quite often summer classes are available that run about 7 weeks.
Certificate programs run one semester which goes for 16 weeks and will provide the student with knowledge that enable them to establish a small-scale aquaponic family type farm. This certificate involves 13 hours of coursework in aquaponics which includes recirculating fish culture and hydroponic plant culture, intro to aquaculture as well as business management. To enter this program requires that you have a high school diploma. The courses themselves have no prerequisites or placement test.
The diploma program which is a one year or two semester plan provides the student with knowledge needed to build and manage a small to medium scale commercial aquaculture/aquaponic business. This program requires a high school diploma and a placement test for English and math. The courses you will take include biology, chemistry, English, business and economics and of course intro and advanced courses in aquaculture and aquaponics. This program is actually a combination of the certificate program and diploma program.
You can also get an AAS (associate of applied science degree) in aquaculture. This is a two year program in aquaculture and aquaponics. This program enables the student to build and manage a large scale commercial operation. Once completed the student can continue on to a B.S. (bachelor’s of science degree) program in marine biology if they like. This program combines the certificate and diploma programs.
If you’re not sure how far you want to go, you can always start with the certificate program and then go from there.