Aquaculture Farmer Kaiahumoana

Aquaculture farmers manage the breeding, raising and harvesting of fish and shellfish for commercial purposes in marine or freshwater farms.

Aquaculture farmers may do some or all of the following:

  • tighten, clean and mend lines, ropes, racks and nets on aquaculture farms
  • feed and care for growing fish and shellfish
  • harvest and pack fish or shellfish
  • dive to clear any debris or dead fish from fish pens
  • drive and navigate boats
  • operate underwater net cleaning machines and remote operated vehicles (ROVs)
  • maintain marine farm equipment
  • plan work schedules and prepare budgets
  • keep records on growth and health of fish or shellfish
  • train, supervise, manage and assess staff.

Physical Requirements

Aquaculture farmers, especially mussel farmers, must be reasonably fit and strong as the job can involve heavy lifting. They also need to be comfortable working on water.

Aquaculture farmers who work as skippers should also have normal colour vision to meet Maritime New Zealand requirements.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for aquaculture farmers includes:

  • fishing, farming and horticulture work
  • shellfish processing
  • work with or on boats
  • diving
  • work outdoors.

Personal Qualities

Aquaculture farmers need to be:

  • able to follow instructions
  • able to work well independently or in a team
  • good communicators
  • reliable
  • well organised.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for aquaculture farmers includes:

  • fishing, farming and horticulture work
  • shellfish processing
  • work with or on boats
  • diving
  • work outdoors.

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become an aquaculture farmer. However, biology, English and maths may be useful.

Aquaculture Farmers can earn around $39K-$60K per year per year.

Aquaculture farmers may progress to work as managers or supervisors. 

With further training, they may also progress to become fishing skippers.

Aquaculture Farmer

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