Aquaculture rearing technicians operate in aquatic organisms’ production. They are specialists in the rearing, weaning and production of juveniles.
The following job titles also refer to aquaculture rearing technician:
technician in aquaculture rearing
fish rearing 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 rearing technician is a Skill level 2 occupation.
Aquaculture rearing technician career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to aquaculture rearing technician.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of aquaculture rearing 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 rearing technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of aquaculture rearing technician.
- Fish identification and classification: The processes which allow the identification and classification of fish.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 rearing technician.
- Monitor fish mortality rates: Monitor fish mortalities and assess possible causes.
- Use water disinfection equipment: Operate equipment for water disinfection, using different methods and techniques, such as mechanical filtration, depending on needs.
- Maintain the production of juveniles at the nursery stage: Maintain the production of juveniles at the nursery stage using advanced high density production techniques
- Ensure compliance with aquaculture standards: Ensure that operations comply with standards for sustainable aquaculture.
- Monitor fish health status: Monitor the health of fish, based on feeding and general behaviour. Interpret environmental parameters and analyse mortalities.
- Maintain aquaculture water quality in hatcheries: Measure flow of water in tanks and natural freshwater bodies. Measure parameters of water quality, such as pH, temperature, oxygen, salinity, CO2, N2, NO2, NH4, turbidity, and chlorophyll.
- 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.
- Maintain hatchery equipment: Make minor repairs to hatchery equipment as required.
- Cultivate plankton production: Cultivate phytoplankton and microalgae. Cultivate live prey such as rotifers or Artemia with advanced techniques.
- Handle larval weaning process in nursery stage: Carry out actions to raise species, such as gradually shift the nutrition of babies from live prey to dry substances.
- Condition broodstock: Incubate eggs until hatching. Assess quality of eggs. Inspect fish eggs. Remove dead, unviable, and off-colour eggs using a suction syringe. Produce eyed eggs. Hatch and maintain new-born larvae.
- Preserve fish samples for diagnosis: Collect and preserve larval, fish and mollusc samples or lesions for diagnosis by fish disease specialists.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use aquacultural heating equipment: Operate water heating and pump equipment as appropriate such as electrical heaters, heat exchangers, heat pumps, and solar pumps.
- Carry out hatchery production processes: Collect naturally spawned fish eggs, eliminate egg adhesiveness, incubate eggs until hatching, hatch and maintain newly born larvae, monitor larvae status, carry out early feeding and rearing techniques of the cultured species.
- Monitor water quality: Measure water quality: temperature, oxygen, salinity, pH, N2, NO2,NH4, CO2, turbidity, chlorophyll. Monitor microbiological water quality.
- Maintain hatchery facilities: Make minor repairs to hatchery facilities as required.
- Use oxygenation equipment: Operate different water oxygenation systems according to requirements: surface aerators, paddle wheel aerators, column/cascade aerators, and pure oxygenation systems.
- 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.
- Control fish diseases: Identify the symptoms of fish diseases. Apply appropriate measures to treat or eliminate diagnosed conditions.
- Monitor hatchery production: Monitor and maintain hatchery production, monitoring stocks and movements.
- 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.
- Culture aquaculture hatchery stocks: Use appropriate implements to collect shellfish spat. Sort wild shellfish spat. Collect naturally spawned fish eggs; eliminate egg adhesiveness and incubate eggs until hatched. Handle fish and shellfish broodstock and feed according to their needs.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of aquaculture rearing technician. 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.
- Carry out feeding operations: Carry out manual feeding. Calibrate and operate automatic and computerised feeding systems.
- Manage staff: Manage employees and subordinates, working in a team or individually, to maximise their performance and contribution. Schedule their work and activities, give instructions, motivate and direct the workers to meet the company objectives. Monitor and measure how an employee undertakes their responsibilities and how well these activities are executed. Identify areas for improvement and make suggestions to achieve this. Lead a group of people to help them achieve goals and maintain an effective working relationship among staff.
- Supervise the work of staff on different shifts: Oversee the activities of the employees working in shifts in order to ensure continuous operations.
- Create training materials: Develop and compile training items and resources according to didactical methods and training needs and using specific types of media.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use communication devices: Operate communication devices in order to interact with customers, colleagues, and others.
- Operate hatchery recirculation system: Efficiently operate a hatchery recirculation system for specified aquatic organisms
- Work in inclement conditions: Work outdoors in hot or cold circumstances.
- Seek innovation in current practices: Search for improvements and present innovative solutions, creativity and alternative thinking to develop new technologies, methods or ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- 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