Aquaculture and Fishery Management
Aquaculture - or aquatic agriculture - is not just about farming fish. It is about farming aquatic plants, creatures and organisms such as prawns, shrimps, oysters, mussels, crocodiles and algae.
The world's natural fish stocks are now seriously low, with some species like blue fin tuna, European sea bass and Atlantic cod almost fished out. As the world grows richer and its population grows larger, it will need more protein - and fish are a highly nutritious source of protein, vitamins and minerals. The world's wild fish cannot supply this rising demand so aquaculture is a rapidly growing and increasingly important industry. It is expected that fish supplied by aquaculture will increase to 40% of the total by 2015.
There are already over 1000 fish farms on 1500 sites in Scotland and aquaculture is a £500 million-pound industry, chiefly producing salmon and trout but also mussels, oysters and even coldwater seafish such as cod, halibut and haddock.
Aquaculture and fishery management can be studied as an honours or a foundation degree, and also as a higher national diploma. Some of the topics are included in specialist biology and zoology degree courses.
Example areas of study
The following is a list of example topic areas that aquaculture and fishery management courses are likely to include. Courses differ in their emphases so it is important to research their content carefully to find their differences and similarities.
- Cell biology and physiology
- Environmental and Earth sciences
- Fishery sciences
- Water quality
- Fish development
- Fish nutrition and health
- Seaweed cultivation
- Fish ecology
- Aquatic diseases
- Estuarine marine biology
- Animal welfare
- River ecology and management
- Coastal marine biology
- Freshwater science
- Aquaculture systems
- Salmonid farming
- Warm water fish farming
- Fish processing
- Fisheries management
- Fish Production
- Business and financial studies
- Aquatic environments
- Fish and shellfish
- Sport fishery management
- Employment and personnel management
- Research methods and data analysis
Some Career possibilities
Graduates have found employment as technicians and managers in fish farms including trout and carp farms, sports fisheries and fish processing units. You may also be employed as a scientific observer, fishing fleet managers and regional fisheries managers, and as managers in organisations such as aquacentres and fish centres.
What do I need to get on a course?
As the courses in this area vary in level, the entry requirements vary too. Those at the lower end of the scale are generally the requirements for HNDs or Foundation degrees. It is important to check exactly what is required of you in terms of grades and qualifications before you submit your application. The list below is intended as a general guide:
- UCAS Tariff: 120 - 180 points generally including a relevant science subject
- A-levels: DD - CCD generally including a relevant science subject
- SQA Highers: CCC - BBCC including a biological science or geography
- SQA Advanced Highers: DD - BC including a biological science or geography
- Irish Leaving Certificates: BBC - BBB including a biological science or geography
- International Baccalaureate: 24 - 26 points including a relevant science or geography
- European Baccalaureate: 60% including a relevant science or geography
- HNC/D: relevant subject
- BTEC National Diploma: MM - MMP in a relevant subject
For your application or interview, evidence of the following could be useful:
- Practical work experience
- Knowledge of fish, fishing and the fishing industry, in the UK and overseas
- Angling or sub-aqua diving as hobbies
- Interest in the environment, especially in rivers and lakes
- Further information is available from the Aquaculture Information Bureau and the Seafish Organisation
To find out more about the typical subjects you will study, potential career paths and further information useful for your application log-on to Course Discover at www.coursediscoveronline.co.uk*
*NB: Your school or college will need a subscription to Course Discover in order for you to gain access, for further information go to:www.coursediscover.co.ukCredits:Extract from Course DiscoverSome elements of this article were developed from You Want to Study WHAT?! Volume II by Dianah Ellis, published by Trotman & Company Ltd, 2003