If you are looking for a career in fish farming, also commonly known as aquaculture, there are many opportunities for career development and skills training in aquaculture.

Although not exhaustive, the most commonly referenced organisations offering courses and training in aquaculture are:

Land Based and Environmental Industries (LANTRA)

Sparsholt College

Scotland Rural College (SRUC)

Institute of Acquaculture, University of Stirling

NAFC Marine Centre, University of the Highlands and Islands

In an increasingly competitive environment there are now far greater demands on trout farms to operate more efficiently and to conform to higher standards. A wide range of skills are therefore required.

Stock needs to be tended seven days a week. Therefore personnel need to be committed fish enthusiasts prepared to work long irregular hours out of doors in isolated environments.

Fish farming is a high-risk industry and requires the highest attention to detail to avoid expensive fish losses, although even large losses may be suffered periodically.

Stock skills such as fish handling, spawning, grading, harvesting, fish health and fish nutrition are required although many of the more repetitive tasks are increasingly mechanised and technology is now used in the management of the water quality and stock.

Prospective employees are more employable if they have other relevant skills in particular engineering, construction and general DIY.

Trout is farmed widely in the UK, but particularly in central & southern Scotland, southern & eastern England and North Yorkshire.

To support a trout farm a clean river is needed for adequate water supply. Therefore there is limited expansion possibilities in the UK. The majority of fish farming concerns are small with owners doing much of the work themselves. There are thought to be in excess of 300 trout farms in the UK of varying sizes.

Production is increasingly concentrated on farms producing 100 tonnes or more. The Industry is moving away from smaller producers, as they are becoming less competitive. Competition from larger trout producers, other fish species and cheaper imported fish are reducing profit margins as prices remain the same or fall.


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