Aquaculture recirculation manager

Aquaculture recirculation manager article illustration


Aquaculture recirculation managers control the production of aquatic organisms in land-based recirculation systems, manage water re-use processes and supervise complex circulation, aeration and biofilter systems.


Here are some typical duties of aquaculture recirculation managers:

  • Collaborate with engineers and aquaculture experts to design and implement recirculating aquaculture systems tailored to the specific needs of the target species.
  • Monitor and manage water quality parameters such as oxygen levels, pH, ammonia, nitrite, and temperature to maintain optimal conditions for aquatic species.
  • Develop and implement feeding strategies to ensure that fish or shrimp receive the appropriate nutrition while minimizing waste and environmental impact.
  • Monitor the health of aquatic organisms, detect diseases, and implement preventive measures or treatments when necessary.
  • Establish and enforce biosecurity protocols to prevent the introduction of pathogens and diseases into the aquaculture system.
  • Oversee regular maintenance tasks, including cleaning filters, checking pumps, and conducting routine system inspections to ensure efficient operation.
  • Collect and analyze data on system performance, growth rates, and water quality, using the information to optimize production and troubleshoot issues.
  • Implement sustainable practices, such as water reuse, energy-efficient technologies, and waste management, to minimize the environmental impact of aquaculture operations.
  • Train and supervise aquaculture staff, ensuring that team members are proficient in system operation, maintenance, and emergency response.
  • Stay informed about and ensure compliance with local, state, and federal regulations governing aquaculture practices.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to aquaculture recirculation manager:

aquaculture recirculation supervisor
manager of aquaculture recirculation systems
fish farm recirculation manager

Working conditions

Aquaculture recirculation managers work in indoor or greenhouse facilities, managing RAS for fish or shrimp production. The role may involve irregular hours, especially during critical production stages. Managers may work closely with a team of aquaculture technicians, engineers, and biologists.

Minimum qualifications

Bachelor’s degree is generally required to work as aquaculture recirculation manager. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

To become an aquaculture recirculation manager, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in aquaculture, fisheries management, marine biology, or a related field is typically required. Practical experience in aquaculture operations, especially with recirculating systems, is valuable. Continuous learning and staying updated on advancements in aquaculture technology, water quality management, and environmental sustainability contribute to success in this role. Strong managerial, problem-solving, and communication skills are essential for overseeing a complex aquaculture system.

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 recirculation manager is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Aquaculture recirculation manager career path

Similar occupations

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

aquaculture husbandry manager
aquaculture harvesting manager
aquaculture environmental analyst
aquaculture production manager
aquatic animal health professional

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

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

  • Fish grading: The method of how fish are graded according to their different characteristics: specification, size, quality and condition.
  • Water chemistry analysis: Principles of complex water chemistry.
  • Fish harvesting methods: Knowledge of up-to-date fish harvesting methods.
  • Fish identification and classification: The processes that allow the identification and classification of fish.
  • 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.
  • Fish welfare regulations: The set of rules that apply in fish harvesting methods that ensure fish well-being.
  • Recirculation systems: The characteristics and functioning of complex circulation, aeration and biofilter systems.
  • Biofilter systems: The techniques used to control pollution via biofiltration processes.
  • Water reuse: Principles of water reuse processes in complex circulation systems.
  • Fire-fighting systems: The devices and systems used to extinguish fires; the classes and chemistry of fire.
  • Health and safety regulations: Necessary health, safety, hygiene and environmental standards and legislation rules in the particular activity sector.

Essential skills and competences

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

  • Interpret scientific data to assess water quality: Analyse and interpret data like biological properties to know the quality of water.
  • Maintain safety systems: Perform activities for the maintenance of fire fighting and related safety systems.
  • Participate in the organisation of emergency drills: Participate in preparing and executing emergency drills. Take charge of on-scene response actions. Help ensure that written drill reports are logged properly. Make sure that all personnel adhere to pre-planned emergency procedures as carefully as possible in the event of an emergency situation.
  • Develop fish health and welfare management plans: Develop a plan which lists risks from outdoor factors, such as predators, and pests.
  • Manage recirculation systems: Manage pumping, aerating, heating and lighting equipment as needed in recirculation systems.
  • Identify training needs: Analyse the training problems and identify the training requirements of an organisation or individuals, so as to provide them with instruction tailored to their prior mastery, profile, means and problem.
  • Manage recirculation systems equipment: Manage complex electrical, electronic and control equipment in recirculation systems.
  • Maintain recirculation systems: Monitor and maintain water circulation within holding units. Monitor the condition of the water filtering and purification equipment.
  • Conduct fish mortality studies: Collect fish mortality data. Identify causes of mortality and provide solutions .
  • Make time-critical decisions: Pursue optimal time-critical decision-making within the organisation.
  • Assess fish health condition: Identify and prepare fish condition for the safe application of treatments.
  • 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.
  • Supervise biofilter systems: Supervise biofilter systems.
  • Supervise circulation systems: Supervise complex circulation and aeration systems applying water chemistry analysis.
  • Monitor growth rates of cultivated fish species: Monitor and assess growth rates and biomass of cultivated fish species, taking mortalities into account. Calculate and forecast growth rates. Monitor and assess mortalities.
  • Inspect fish stock: Collect and examine fish to evaluate the health of fish stock.
  • Monitor water quality: Measure water quality: temperature, oxygen, salinity, pH, N2, NO2,NH4, CO2, turbidity, chlorophyll. Monitor microbiological water quality.
  • Control fish diseases: Identify the symptoms of fish diseases. Apply appropriate measures to treat or eliminate diagnosed conditions.
  • 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.
  • 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 recirculation manager. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Marketing principles: The principles of managing the relationship between consumers and products or services for the purpose of increasing sales and improving advertising techniques.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of aquaculture recirculation 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.
  • Plan marketing strategy: Determine the objective of the marketing strategy, whether it is for establishing an image, implementing a pricing strategy, or raising awareness of the product. Establish approaches to marketing actions to ensure that goals are achieved efficiently and over the long term.
  • Communicate verbal instructions: Communicate transparent instructions. Ensure that messages are understood and followed correctly.
  • Develop personal skills: Set goals for personal development and act accordingly. Plan personal development by analysing work experience and establishing areas that need development. Takes part in training sessions considering his/her abilities, possibilities and feedback.
  • 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.
  • Use communication devices: Operate communication devices in order to interact with customers, colleagues, and others.
  • 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 as a team: To recognize the importance of team work, building and maintaining effective working relationships with all colleagues and within the business.
  • 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.
  • Use IT tools: Application of computers, computer networks and other information technologies and equipment to storing, retrieving, transmitting and manipulating data, in the context of a business or enterprise.
  • 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

2132 – Farming, forestry and fisheries advisers

  1. Aquaculture recirculation manager – ESCO
  2. Featured image: Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash
Last updated on January 15, 2024