Aquaculture and fish farming have many benefits for both producers and consumers. Seafood producers get a steady supply of high-quality fish, shrimp, crustaceans, and shellfish while consumers get healthier seafood. Therefore, aquaculture and fish farming courses can prepare students for career success in this growing industry.

What’s fish farming and why should you be interested in aquaculture? 

Mariaquaculture (aquaculture and fish farming in natural waters)

Aquaculture involves breeding and raising aquatic animals for seafood, such as fish, shellfish, crabs, lobsters, and even algae in a controlled environment. In addition to being located inland (in aquaculture tanks and ponds), these controlled farming environments can also include natural waters, such as lakes, rivers, seas, and swamps (with the use of submerged cages and nets). Coastal aquaculture and mariculture are two terms used to describe farming in natural waters.

What fish are farmed? How about crustaceans and algae?

Oyster farm (Aquaculture)
Oyster farm

With more than 60% of the aquaculture market devoted to fish, fish are obviously the biggest contributor to the industry. The global market share of fish produced in 2018 was dominated by several species of carp. Among the other major types of fish are tilapia, salmon, catfish, trout, and milkfish.

Globally, most fish are produced in Asian countries, such as China, India, and Indonesia. However, coldwater fish are mainly produced in countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom.

Following fish, molluscs and crustaceans are the next highest aquatic groups produced. The Whiteleg shrimp (with a market share of over 50%), Red swamp crawfish (18% market share), and Chinese mitten crab comprised the top three crustaceans farmed in 2018. Also, Japanese kelp ranked as the most produced aquatic algae.

Profitability and career demand for fish farming and aquaculture

Aquaculture and fish farming careers

In contrast to commercial fishing, aquaculture is neither bound by quotas nor by seasons. Furthermore, fish farming encourages the restoration of natural fresh and marine water habitats so we can combat overfishing. 

In fact, by 2030, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization hopes to increase aquaculture production due to overfishing and climate change. As a result, aquaculture businesses and careers would urgently be needed in the fisheries and marine industry. International organisations would also likely fund aquaculture businesses.

A compelling statistic is that more than half of all fish consumed is farmed rather than caught, and as of 2021, the global fish farming market was worth USD $285.3 billion (AUD $427.0 billion / CAD $388.2 billion / GBP £225.0 billion). By 2027, the market is expected to reach USD $378 billion (AUD $566 billion / CAD $514 billion / GBP £298 billion). The continued growth will not only be contributed by massive global population growth, but also by growth in income levels in Asia, where consumption of seafood is already high. 

Octagon Shaped Fish Pens in the Lake, Aquaculture
Octagon Shaped Fish Pens in the Lake by Alexey K.

When it comes to profit, we have to consider costs. The cost of starting a fish farm is variable, with indoor tanks being less expensive and coastal aquaculture farming being considerable in costs. Nonetheless, government bodies in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States have set up funding for those intending to enter the aquaculture industry.

How would fish farming and aquaculture courses help?

When it comes to raising fish, there are many factors to consider. There are also distinctions in fish farming depending on whether it is brackish water, freshwater, or marine water aquaculture.

To maintain a healthy environment for fish, certain factors such as water temperature, pH level, and oxygen level must be monitored closely. Moreover, fish feed must be carefully balanced in order to provide the fish with the right nutrients and prevent them from growing too large or too fast. Unless these conditions are met, fish can become ill or die.

This is why enrolling in fish farming courses is crucial to your success. Again, depending on your goals, below are some fish farming and aquaculture courses curated.

Fish Farming & Aquaculture Courses (both online and degree)

1. Becoming Aquaculture Expert (Part 1, 2 & 3) by Hidayah Taufex, PhD

CourseBecoming Aquaculture Expert (Part 1 to 3)
Instructor & PlatformHidayah Taufex, PhD via Udemy
LevelBeginner
Duration4.5 hours total
CertificationSharable Certificate (for an additional fee)
FeeUSD $51 to 100
Delivery ModeOnline

This three-part course explores aquaculture as a sustainable and strategic method of farming seafood. The first part will provide participants with a solid understanding of aquaculture concepts and general principles, including ponds, cages, raceways, and aquaponics. In part two, you will learn how to properly manage water quality, nutrition, and feeding strategies for fish and aquaculture species. The final part of this series will teach you how to breed fish and prevent diseases from spreading on your farm. In addition, you will learn about genetic technologies.

2. Bachelor of Science in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservative Biology by Kansas State University

CourseBachelor of Science in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservative Biology
InstitutionKansas State University
LevelUndergraduate
Duration4 years
CertificationBachelor Degree
FeeUSD $102,240 (AUD $153,002 / CAD $139,124 / GBP £80,634)
Delivery ModeOn-campus in Kansas, USA

3. Aquaponics – the circular food production system by Zurich University of Applied Sciences

Image by Joachim Kohler Bremen
CourseAquaponics – the circular food production system
Institution & PlatformZurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) via edX
LevelIntermediate
Duration6 weeks
CertificationSharable Certificate (available under Verified Track)
FeeFree for Audit Track / USD $99 for Verified Track
Delivery ModeOnline

4. Biofloc Technology for High-Intensity Indoor Shrimp Farming on Udemy

CourseBiofloc Technology for High-Intensity Indoor Shrimp Farming
Instructor & PlatformYit Xiang Tung, Aquaculture Consultant via Udemy
LevelBeginner
Duration4 hours
CertificationSharable Certificate
FeeUSD $101 to 200
Delivery ModeOnline

Sources
  • The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2016 (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), https://www.fao.org/3/i5555e/i5555e.pdf
  • Global Fish Farming Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2022 – 2027), https://www.marketdataforecast.com/market-reports/fish-farming-market
  • The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2020 (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), https://www.fao.org/3/ca9229en/ca9229en.pdf
  • TOWARDS BLUE TRANSFORMATION (A vision for transforming aquatic food systems), https://www.fao.org/state-of-fisheries-aquaculture
  • THE UNPRECEDENTED EXPANSION OF THE GLOBAL MIDDLE CLASS, https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/global_20170228_global-middle-class.pdf
  • Starting an aquaculture business, https://www.agriculture.gov.au/agriculture-land/fisheries/aquaculture/starting
  • Government of Canada accepting applications to fund clean technology for fisheries and aquaculture industries, https://www.canada.ca/en/fisheries-oceans/news/2021/07/government-of-canada-accepting-applications-to-fund-clean-technology-for-fisheries-and-aquaculture-industries.html
  • Commercial fishing and fisheries (Funding: detailed information), https://www.gov.uk/topic/commercial-fishing-fisheries/funding
  • Aquaculture Funding Opportunities and Grants, https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/aquaculture/aquaculture-funding-opportunities-and-grants

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