Aquaculture hatchery manager


Aquaculture hatchery managers plan, direct, and coordinate the production in large-scale aquaculture operations to breed fish and shellfish, developing aquaculture breeding strategies using various types of spawning techniques. They control the reproduction and the early life cycle stages of cultured species. They supervise incubation, early feeding and rearing techniques of the cultured species.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to aquaculture hatchery manager:

aquaculture hatchery supervisor
manager of aquaculture hatchery
fish farm hatchery supervisor

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 hatchery manager is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Aquaculture hatchery manager career path

Similar occupations

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

aquaculture rearing technician
aquaculture hatchery technician
aquaculture husbandry technician
water-based aquaculture technician
aquaculture recirculation technician

Long term prospects

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

aquaculture site supervisor
aquaculture quality supervisor
fisheries observer
customs officer
flight operations officer

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of aquaculture hatchery manager.

  • Fish identification and classification: The processes which allow the identification and classification of fish.
  • Animal welfare legislation: The legal boundaries, codes of professional conduct, national and EU regulatory frameworks and legal procedures of working with animals and living organisms, ensuring their welfare and health.
  • Aquaculture reproduction: The techniques used to induce spawning, spawning on nests, stripping using appropriate techniques for specific species of fish, molluscs, crustaceans and others. The environmental control of spawning, the use of hormones to induce reproduction and the broodstock recruitment by genetic selection.
  • Genetic selection programme: The methods used to plan and carry out a genetic selection programme for selected species of fish, molluscs, crustaceans and others.
  • 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.
  • Sanitation measures for aquaculture hatchery production: Standards of sanitation and cleanliness essential to effective control of fungi and other parasites under intensive culture conditions.
  • Licences regulation: The requirements and rules that must be compliant for a permit or licence.
  • Fish anatomy: The study of the form or morphology of fish species.
  • Plankton production: The methods, characteristics and equipment used to cultivate phytoplankton, microalgae and live prey such as rotifers or Artemia with advanced techniques.
  • Biosecurity: Be aware of the general principles of the concept of bio-security and in particular, the disease prevention rules to be implemented in case of epidemics endangering public health.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of aquaculture hatchery manager.

  • Organise labour: Organise, allocate and coordinate members of the team. Organise production programmes and plan the production and sales. Purchase materials and equipment. Manage stocks.
  • Apply company policies: Apply the principles and rules that govern the activities and processes of an organisation.
  • Develop aquaculture hatchery business plan: Develop and implement an aquaculture hatchery business plan
  • Schedule hatchery supplies: Schedule hatchery supplies according to priorities.
  • Maintain the production of juveniles at the nursery stage: Maintain the production of juveniles at the nursery stage using advanced high density production techniques
  • Plan aquatic resources feeding regimes: Make the appropriate operations to ensure aquatic resources for feeding regimes, taking into consideration farming constraints:set up fish feeding regimes, check animal feeding behaviour and operate computerised feed systems.
  • Inspect aquaculture equipment: Inspect aquaculture harvesting tools and machinery to ensure that they work properly.
  • Induce spawning of cultured aquaculture species: Induce spawning using appropriate techniques for specific cultured species of fish, molluscs, crustaceans or others. Determine sexual maturity of broodstock, using appropriate techniques as indicated for cultured species of fish, molluscs and crustaceans. Control broodstock sexual cycle. Use hormones to induce reproduction.
  • Assess environmental impact in aquaculture operations: Measure the environmental impact of a company’s aquaculture operations. Take into account factors such as quality of the sea and surface water, fish and sea plant habitats and risks regarding the quality of air, odour and noise.
  • Enforce sanitation procedures: Ensure standards of sanitation and cleanliness essential to effective control of fungi and other parasites under intensive culture conditions. Obtain uncontaminated fish and eggs by strict sanitary procedures and avoidance of carrier fish. Supervise the isolation and identification of the agent with specific immune antiserum.
  • Manage capture broodstock operations: Plan and conduct wild broodstock capture and quarantine wild broodstock if necessary. Monitor the collection of larvae or juveniles from environment. Control the use of appropriate techniques for the specific species i.e. fish, molluscs, crustaceans or others.
  • Manage aquatic resources stock production: Set up a farm stock production spreadsheet and feed budget (feeding, growth, biomass, mortality, FCR, harvesting). Monitor and maintain stock production.
  • Make time-critical decisions: Pursue optimal time-critical decision making within the organisation.
  • Write work-related reports: Compose work-related reports that support effective relationship management and a high standard of documentation and record keeping. Write and present results and conclusions in a clear and intelligible way so they are comprehensible to a non-expert audience.
  • Control aquatic production environment: Assess the impact of biological conditions such as algae and fouling organisms by managing water intakes, catchments and oxygen use.
  • Develop management plans to reduce risks in aquaculture: Develop a management plan to reduce the risks from pests, predators and diseases. Supervise implementation of plan, especially disease prevention measures, throughout the aquaculture facility.
  • Deliver aquatic products to customer specifications: Deliver aquatic products to customer specifications, with full understanding of customer requirements.
  • Assess feeding behaviour of larvae: Monitor feeding behaviour in order to decide on suitability of feed composition, weaning larvae from live prey to dry feed or pellets.
  • Supervise aquaculture facilities: Supervise aquaculture facilities and identify equipment needs. Understand aquaculture equipment drawings, plans, and design principles of different containment systems.
  • Control fish diseases: Identify the symptoms of fish diseases. Apply appropriate measures to treat or eliminate diagnosed conditions.
  • 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.
  • Provide on-site training in aquaculture facilities: Provide on-site training in aquaculture facilities, through instruction and demonstration of skills. Provide, implement and supervise a training development plan.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

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

  • Hatchery design: The components of planning, layout and ventilation involved in a hatchery for designated species of fish, molluscs, crustaceans or others as required.
  • Aquaculture production planning software: The functioning principles and usage of a software dedicated to the planning of aquaculture production.

Optional skills and competences

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

  • Plan team building: Encourage team members and build a relationship of mutual trust, respect and cooperation.
  • Work in outdoor conditions: Can cope with the different climate conditions such as heat, rain, cold or in strong wind.
  • Develop aquaculture strategies: Cultivate strategies for aquaculture plans based on reports and research in order to deal with specific fish farm issues. Plan and organise work activities in order to improve aquaculture production and tackle further problems.
  • Lead a team: Lead, supervise and motivate a group of people, in order to meet the expected results within a given timeline and with the foreseen resources in mind.
  • Manage a small-to-medium business: Manage the organisational, financial and day-to-day operation of a small-to-medium enterprise.
  • Plan the work of teams and individuals: Plan the work of teams and individuals. Assess the work of teams and individuals. Provide feedback to teams and individuals on work carried out. Support and mentor individuals and teams. Prepare work instructions for new tasks.
  • Make independent operating decisions: Make immediate operating decisions as necessary without reference to others, taking into account the circumstances and any relevant procedures and legislation. Determine alone which option is the best for a particular situation.
  • Work in shifts: Work in rotating shifts, where the goal is to keep a service or production line running around the clock and each day of the week.
  • Screen live fish deformities: Screen for deformities in live fish including larvae
  • Implement scientific decision making in healthcare: Implement scientific findings for evidence-based practice, integrating research evidence into decision making by forming a focused clinical question in response to a recognised information need, searching for the most appropriate evidence to meet that need, critically appraising the retrieved evidence, incorporating the evidence into a strategy for action, and evaluating the effects of any decisions and actions taken.
  • Work in inclement conditions: Work outdoors in hot or cold circumstances.
  • Manage a team: Ensure clear and effective channels of communication across all departments within the organisation and support functions, both internally and externally ensuring that the team is aware of the standards and objectives of the department/business unit. Implement the disciplinary and grievance procedures as required ensuring that a fair and consistent approach to managing performance is consistently achieved. Assist in the recruitment process and manage, train and motivate employees to achieve/exceed their potential using effective performance management techniques. Encourage and develop a team ethic amongst all employees.
  • Evaluate potential end-user conflicts: Assess potential conflicts with other interested parties with regard to environmental impacts of aquaculture and conflicts of interest with other coastal zone users.
  • Maintain hatchery records: Carefully maintain hatchery production records and inventory. Maintain accurate hatchery records including the preparation of health documents for the transport of juveniles.
  • Feed broodstock: Feed broodstock according to nutritional needs. This will initially include live prey such as rotifers and artemia.
  • 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 hatchery manager – ESCO
Last updated on October 28, 2022

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