Aquaculture cage technician


Aquaculture cage technicians operate in the production of aquatic organisms in water-based (freshwater, brackish water, salt water) on-growing processes in cages.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to aquaculture cage technician:

cage technician
aquaculture support worker
fish cage technician
technician in aquaculture cages

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Aquaculture cage technician is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Aquaculture cage technician career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to aquaculture cage technician.

water-based aquaculture technician
aquaculture harvesting technician
aquaculture husbandry technician
aquaculture recirculation technician
aquaculture mooring manager

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of aquaculture cage technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of aquaculture cage technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

aquaculture site supervisor
aquaculture quality supervisor
aviation data communications manager
international forwarding operations coordinator
wastewater treatment operator

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of aquaculture cage technician.

  • Fish grading: The method of how fish are graded according to their different characteristics: specification, size, quality and condition.
  • Water currents: Understand impact of water currents on fish farms, in cages, ponds, lagoons and rivers.
  • Pests and diseases: Types of pests and diseases and the principles of spreading and treating them.
  • Fish biology: The study of fish, shellfish or crustacean organisms, categorized into many specialised fields that cover their morphology, physiology, anatomy, behaviour, origins and distribution.
  • Rates of growth assessment: The different methods used to evaluate the growth of most important cultivated species.
  • Operation of lifting gears: Use of different types of lifting gears, such as winches, telescopic loaders, sea cranes, forklift trucks.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of aquaculture cage technician.

  • Assess cage water quality: Analyse the quality of water by monitoring the state of temperature and oxygen, among other parameters.
  • Monitor fish mortality rates: Monitor fish mortalities and assess possible causes.
  • Monitor feeding systems: Make sure that feeders, feeding system and monitoring instruments are working. Analyse feedback from the instruments.
  • Use water disinfection equipment: Operate equipment for water disinfection, using different methods and techniques, such as mechanical filtration, depending on needs.
  • Maintain grading equipment: Set up equipment and areas to effectively grade fish according to requirements. Maintain the equipment in a serviceable condition throughout the grading process. Clean and store the equipment after use.
  • Carry out feeding operations: Carry out manual feeding. Calibrate and operate automatic and computerised feeding systems.
  • Maintain aquaculture cage equipment: Ensure maintenance of aquaculture cage equipment, by carrying out tasks such as cleaning floats and arranging ropes in cages.
  • Perform water treatments: Perform regularly water testing, ensuring that water management and filtration processes follow reasonable management practices, industry standards, or commonly accepted farming practices. Record previous water contaminations, the source of contamination and contamination remedied. Take mitigation measures to guard against further contamination.
  • Monitor fish health status: Monitor the health of fish, based on feeding and general behaviour. Interpret environmental parameters and analyse mortalities.
  • Measure water quality parameters: Quality assure water by taking into consideration various elements, such as temperature.
  • Observe abnormal fish behaviour: Observe, describe and monitor abnormal fish behaviour in respect of feeding, swimming, surfacing.
  • Monitor feeding behaviour: Monitor feeding behaviour of farm animals. Collect information on the growth of the animals, and forecast future growth. Monitor and assess biomass taking mortality into account.
  • Preserve fish samples for diagnosis: Collect and preserve larval, fish and mollusc samples or lesions for diagnosis by fish disease specialists.
  • Screen live fish deformities: Screen for deformities in live fish including larvae
  • Carry out fish disease prevention measures: Carry out disease prevention measures for fish, molluscs, and crustaceans for land-based and water-based aquaculture facilities.
  • Perform diving interventions: Perform hyperbaric interventions at a maximum pressure of 4 atmospheres. Prepare and review the personal equipment and the auxiliary material; perform and supervise the dive; realise maintenance of the diving equipment and auxiliary material; apply the security measures to assure the divers security on the realisation of low deep immersions.
  • Apply fish treatments: Apply prescribed fish treatments under supervision, including assistance with vaccination immersion and injection procedures.
  • Control aquatic production environment: Assess the impact of biological conditions such as algae and fouling organisms by managing water intakes, catchments and oxygen use.
  • Carry out preparations for fish disease specialist: Prepare environment and equipment for fish disease specialist treatments, including vaccination treatments.
  • Operate small craft: Operate small craft used for transport and feeding.
  • Maintain diving equipment: Perform maintenance actions, including small repairs, on diving equipment.
  • Handle waste: Handle and dispose of bio and chemical wastes in accordance with regulations.
  • Carry out maintenance on cage equipment and machinery: Carry out maintenance on cage equipment and machinery, such as containment systems, lifting gear, transportation gear, disinfection equipment.
  • Apply standard feeding and nutrition protocols: Make up feed on-site. Feed animals by hand or with feeding machines according to agreed protocols. Monitor animal feeding behaviour.
  • Prepare for small craft operation: Prepare for personnel operation of small craft, both with licence and without licence.
  • Identify common aquatic species diseases: Identify common aquatic species diseases. Observe and describe common symptoms and lesions.
  • Check diving equipment: Check diving equipment for valid certification to ensure its suitability. Ensure that any diving equipment is examined by a competent person before use, at least once on each day on which it is to be used. Ensure that it is adequately tested and repaired.
  • Supervise cage net systems: Supervise cage net changing and net repairs. Maintain and clean floats and mooring ropes.
  • Perform water chemistry analysis: Perform water chemistry analysis
  • Swim: Move through water by means of the limbs.
  • Implement fin fish feeding regimes: Implement daily fin fish feeding regimes to take account of environmental variations. Check feeding regimes are followed through the accurate implementation of feeding procedures. Implement adjustments to feeding regimes to take account of fluctuations in production performance and variations in environmental conditions. Control specialist feeding regimes to support specified production requirements. Investigate changes in feeding behaviour to determine cause and required corrective action.
  • Measure water flow: Measure water flow, water intakes and catchments.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of aquaculture cage technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of aquaculture cage technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Maintain ropes: Maintain splices and knots in ropes.
  • Set up fish harvesting equipment: Set up fish harvesting equipment for the efficient slaughter of the fish and subsequent storage.
  • Speak different languages: Master foreign languages to be able to communicate in one or more foreign languages.
  • Maintain internal communication systems: Maintain an effective internal communication system among employees and department managers.
  • Use different communication channels: Make use of various types of communication channels such as verbal, handwritten, digital and telephonic communication with the purpose of constructing and sharing ideas or information.
  • Undertake continuous professional development in fishery operations: Initiate and progress in life long learning of the different challenging activities and operations which take place on board of a fishing vessel or in an aquaculture facility.
  • Conduct fish mortality studies: Collect fish mortality data. Identify causes of mortality and provide solutions .
  • Use communication devices: Operate communication devices in order to interact with customers, colleagues, and others.
  • Prepare aquatic animals for harvesting: Grade fish, molluscs, crustaceans manually and using equipment in preparation for harvesting.
  • Make time-critical decisions: Pursue optimal time-critical decision making within the organisation.
  • Prepare fish harvesting equipment: Prepare fish harvesting equipment and facilities for the efficient slaughter of the fish and subsequent storage.
  • Manage cage nets: Execute cleaning, drying and storage of removed cage nets.
  • Harvest aquatic resources: Grade fish, molluscs, crustaceans manually and use equipment in preparation for harvesting. Harvest shellfish for human consumption. Harvest live fish for live transport. Harvest all species in a humane manner. Handle harvested fish in a manner which maintains flesh quality.
  • Handle harvested fish: Handle harvested fish in a manner which maintains flesh quality. Effectively store fish in chilled storage.
  • Have computer literacy: Utilise computers, IT equipment and modern day technology in an efficient way.
  • Ensure aquaculture personnel health and safety: Make sure that health and safety procedures have been established and followed across all aquaculture facilities including cages. Ensure that personnel and general public are instructed and all work activities are carried out according to relevant health and safety regulations.
  • Operate an emergency communication system: Efficiently operate common communication systems used in emergencies, such as base station mobile transmitters and receivers, portable transmitters and receivers, repeaters, cellular phones, pagers, automated vehicle locators, and satellite phones as required.
  • Communicate in English in a competent way: Competent use of English; R351refers to level C1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

ISCO group and title

6221 – Aquaculture workers

  1. Aquaculture cage technician – ESCO
Last updated on October 28, 2022

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