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Fish farm manager: Job description

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A fish farm manager is responsible for the breeding and rearing of fish for the wholesale or retail trade. Farms breed their own fish by hatching eggs from adult stock, or sometimes by buying in young fish, and then rearing them before selling on to purchasers.

The work varies considerably and includes a wide range of skills. Fish farm managers can be responsible for:

  • managing fish habitats throughout the year;
  • stock health and welfare issues;
  • feeding stock either manually or via automated machinery;
  • maintenance of equipment and cages;
  • selling on to the public or trade customers.

Fish farming, or aquaculture as it is commonly known, is an intensive animal husbandry business, and it is essential that post holders have an enthusiasm for fish and their welfare.

Typical work activities

Some farms, like those for trout, tend to be quite small and stable and employ few staff, so the fish farm manager is likely to undertake a great deal of varied tasks.

Other farms, such as salmon farms, are larger and employ a lot of staff. Salmon farms are located in many parts of the world including Scotland, Norway, Turkey and Chile. Tasks are many and varied and can include the following:

  • calculating the feeding regime, which is often done by automatic computer systems;
  • monitoring the health of the fish and treating them when appropriate;
  • planning breeding programmes and growing schedules to obtain maximum efficiency;
  • adhering to environmental standards;
  • understanding legislation and how to implement this into practical application;
  • ensuring the water supply is of a sufficient quality for the stock;
  • being aware of different water management techniques;
  • adapting to new technologies as they develop and learning practical skills;
  • paying close attention to detail in order to avoid expensive fish losses in what can be a high risk industry;
  • possessing stock skills such as fish handling, spawning, grading and harvesting;
  • updating knowledge of fish health and nutrition;
  • maintaining records of stocks.

Additional duties might include marketing and selling the produce, although this depends upon the individual fish farm.

Some farms specialise in retail and leisure activities, such as offering angling facilities, so the work may involve selling fish products, or assisting the general public.

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Written by AGCAS editors
October 2014

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