Aquaculture husbandry technician


Aquaculture husbandry technicians operate in aquatic organisms’ production, specialising in the husbandry of ongrowing culture processes, especially in feeding and stock management.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to aquaculture husbandry technician:

fish farm husbandry technician
technician in aquaculture husbandry
fisheries husbandry technician
aquaculture on-growing technician

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 husbandry technician is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Aquaculture husbandry technician career path

Similar occupations

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

water-based aquaculture technician
aquaculture harvesting technician
aquaculture cage technician
aquaculture recirculation technician
harvest diver

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of aquaculture husbandry 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 husbandry technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

aquaculture site supervisor
aquaculture quality supervisor
flight operations officer
venue programmer
underwater construction supervisor

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

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

  • Fish grading: The method of how fish are graded according to their different characteristics: specification, size, quality and condition.
  • 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.
  • Aquaculture production planning software: The functioning principles and usage of a software dedicated to the planning of aquaculture production.
  • Aquaculture cultivation equipment: Understand aquaculture cultivation equipment drawings and plans
  • Computerised feeding systems: The functioning of computer controlled systems that provide animal feeding.

Essential skills and competences

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

  • Monitor fish mortality rates: Monitor fish mortalities and assess possible causes.
  • Carry out standard aquaculture stock health operations: Perform activities that ensure monitoring and implementation of aquaculture health standards and health analysis of the fish population.
  • Monitor feeding systems: Make sure that feeders, feeding system and monitoring instruments are working. Analyse feedback from the instruments.
  • Ensure compliance with aquaculture standards: Ensure that operations comply with standards for sustainable aquaculture.
  • Inspect aquaculture equipment: Inspect aquaculture harvesting tools and machinery to ensure that they work properly.
  • Assist with vaccination procedures: Assist skilled professional with immersions and injection vaccination procedures.
  • 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.
  • Measure the impact of specific aquaculture activity: Identify and measure the biological, physico-chemical impacts of specific aquaculture farm activity on the environment. Carry out all necessary tests, including collection and processing of samples for analysis.
  • Identity aquaculture species: Identity major European farmed fish, shellfish and crustacean species.
  • Preserve fish samples for diagnosis: Collect and preserve larval, fish and mollusc samples or lesions for diagnosis by fish disease specialists.
  • Perform fish grading operations: Gather live fish using techniques which minimise the stress caused to fish and avoid fish escapes occurring. Grade them manually or using equipment. Report on the grading operation, ensuring compliance with specifications.
  • Identify risks in aquaculture facilities: Identify the hazards and evaluate the risks to health and safety in aquaculture facilities.
  • 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.
  • Ensure cage safety requirements are followed: Ensure that personnel comply with cage safety requirements.
  • Use aquaculture heavy equipment: Perform manual operations such as manually lift, transfer position and set down a load. Operate lifting gear such as winch, sea crane, telescopic loader, and forklift.
  • 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.
  • Monitor water quality: Measure water quality: temperature, oxygen, salinity, pH, N2, NO2,NH4, CO2, turbidity, chlorophyll. Monitor microbiological water quality.
  • Carry out maintenance of aquaculture equipment: Maintain aquaculture equipment and identify equipment needs. Carry out routine maintenance and minor repairs as needed.
  • Rear food fish: Spawn and rear food fish or exotic fish for commercial use.
  • Control fish diseases: Identify the symptoms of fish diseases. Apply appropriate measures to treat or eliminate diagnosed conditions.
  • Maintain technical equipment: Maintain an inventory of cultivation equipment and supplies. Order additional materials as needed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Calculate aquatic resources growth rate: Calculate and forecast growth rates. Monitor and assess growth and biomass taking mortality into account, based on the different methods of growth assessment.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of aquaculture husbandry 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 husbandry technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Critique the dive with the dive team: Assess the dive with the dive team upon completion. Instruct the diver(s) so as to improve procedures and routines for future dives.
  • Collect dead fish: Gather dead fish in recipients like tanks and cages.
  • Work in outdoor conditions: Can cope with the different climate conditions such as heat, rain, cold or in strong wind.
  • Communicate verbal instructions: Communicate transparent instructions. Ensure that messages are understood and followed correctly.
  • 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.
  • Speak different languages: Master foreign languages to be able to communicate in one or more foreign languages.
  • 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.
  • Communicate in an outdoor setting: Communicate with participants in more than one language of the European Union; handle a crisis following guidelines and recognise the importance of proper behaviour in crisis situations.
  • 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.
  • Make time-critical decisions: Pursue optimal time-critical decision making within the organisation.
  • 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.
  • Maintain diving equipment: Perform maintenance actions, including small repairs, on diving equipment.
  • Implement contingency plans for escapees: Carry out contingency plans for cage escapees. Carry out fish capture escape operations.
  • Work in inclement conditions: Work outdoors in hot or cold circumstances.
  • Work as a team: To recognize the importance of team work, building and maintaining effective working relationships with all colleagues and within the business.
  • 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.
  • Provide training: Provide training and orientation to new team members, or assign this task to an appropriately experienced team member.
  • 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.
  • 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 husbandry technician – ESCO
Last updated on October 28, 2022

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