Water-based aquaculture worker

A water-based aquaculture worker


Water-based aquaculture workers carry out manual activities in the ongrowing processes of cultured aquatic organisms in water-based suspended systems (floating or submerged structures). They participate in extraction operations and the handling of organisms for commercialisation. Water-based aquaculture workers maintain and clean facilities (nets, mooring ropes, cages).

The duties of a water-based aquaculture worker include, but are not limited to:

  • feeding and grading fish, and monitoring their growth
  • assisting with farm layout and constructing nets, long-lines and cages
  • checking and looking after equipment and fish housing
  • operating pumps and other equipment
  • testing and checking on water quality
  • removing dead and dying fish
  • operating lifting equipment such as forklifts and small cranes
  • harvesting fish, and sorting and packing for transportation
  • restocking pens, pools, tanks, ponds, rivers and dams with juvenile fish
  • collecting and recording growth, production and water quality data.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to water-based aquaculture worker:

water-based fish culture worker
worker in water-based aquaculture
water-based fisheries worker
water-based fish farm worker

Minimum qualifications

No formal educational credential is required to work as water-based aquaculture worker.

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.

Water-based aquaculture worker is a Skill level 1 occupation.

Water-based aquaculture worker career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to water-based aquaculture worker.

aquaculture harvesting worker
aquaculture cage mooring worker
on foot aquatic resources collector
swimming facility attendant

Long term prospects

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

harvest diver
aquaculture harvesting technician
aquaculture cage technician
aquaculture husbandry worker
water-based aquaculture technician

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of water-based aquaculture worker.

  • Rope manipulation: Rope manipulation which relates to knotting and splicing.
  • Fish welfare regulations: The set of rules that apply in fish harvesting methods which ensure fish well-being.
  • Pedagogy: The discipline that concerns the theory and practice of education including the various instructional methods for educating individuals or groups.
  • Operation of lifting gears: Use of different types of lifting gears, such as winches, telescopic loaders, sea cranes, forklift trucks.
  • Operation of transport equipment: Use of transportation gear, such as car, forklift, truck, tractor, trailer, convoy.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of water-based aquaculture worker.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

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

  • 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.
  • Fishing gear: Identification of the different gear used in capture fisheries and their functional capacity.
  • Environmental legislation: The environmental policies and legislation applicable in a certain domain.
  • 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 anatomy: The study of the form or morphology of fish species.

Optional skills and competences

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

  • Monitor fish mortality rates: Monitor fish mortalities and assess possible causes.
  • Maintain internal communication systems: Maintain an effective internal communication system among employees and department managers.
  • 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.
  • Use communication devices: Operate communication devices in order to interact with customers, colleagues, and others.
  • Screen live fish deformities: Examine live fish, including larvae, to detect deformities related to body shape, jaw deformity, vertebral deformity and skeletal deformity. If not detected, these could lead to risks for fish, such as swimming performance, feed efficiency, limit of the feed, infectious disease and lethality.
  • 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 security measures to ensure the divers’ safety when realising deep immersions.
  • Prepare fish harvesting equipment: Prepare fish harvesting equipment and facilities for the efficient slaughter of the fish and subsequent storage.
  • Maintain diving equipment; Perform maintenance actions, including small repairs, on diving equipment.
  • Maintain fish harvesting equipment: Clean and store fish harvesting equipment after use.
  • 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.
  • Handle harvested fish: Handle harvested fish in a manner which maintains flesh quality. Effectively store fish in chilled storage.
  • Communicate by telephone: Liaise via telephone by making and answering calls in a timely, professional and polite manner.

ISCO group and title

9216 – Fishery and aquaculture labourers

  1. ESCO
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  3. Aquaculture Worker | Your Career
  4. Featured image: By US Fish and Wildlife Service – Recovery Act Team – Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery, Public Domain
Last updated on June 15, 2022

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