Aquaculture - or aquatic agriculture - produces more than half of all of the fish consumed globally, but it is much more than ‘fish farming’. It covers working with species as varied as prawns, shrimps, mussels, oysters, crocodiles, turtles and algae, and its impact is as far-reaching as protecting the environment and tackling world hunger.
Yet, the Aquaculture sector goes beyond the primary production of food. Across the world, aquaculture systems are producing fish for the ornamental fish trade, and growing plants and animals for alternative uses such as pharmaceuticals and biotechnologies.
Covering a wide range of activities - from breeding and rearing through to the harvesting of plants and animals - the Aquaculture sector can offer a wide range of career opportunities. The systems used across the world vary from production of shellfish or fish in free-flowing freshwater ponds, rivers, lakes or lochs (in Scotland) through to large offshore sea cages or land-based facilities using recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS).
Founded in 1971, the Institute of Aquaculture is the leading international centre in its field, and the largest of its kind in the world, with over 80% of research activity rated world-leading and internationally excellent (REF 2014).
We proudly bring together world-class researchers from a variety of disciplines in order to meet the wide range of challenges the world faces as aquaculture grows to meet global demand.
Our research focuses on critical questions, such as how to develop strategies for sustainable aquaculture and aquatic food security, how to inform modern commercial markets and how to support communities in developing countries so they have enough to eat.
Fundamental research on reproduction, genetics, aquatic animal health and welfare, nutrition, production systems, environments, markets, and social and economic impacts all play a significant role in what we do.
Studying aquaculture or marine science can open up a vast range of career opportunities within one of the world’s youngest and fastest growing industries.
The level of industrialisation within the sector is still rather underdeveloped, in terms of technological applications of nutrition, genetics, health and technology. There are, therefore, a multitude of career opportunities available.
Within research and development there are careers focusing on improving breeding, feeding, health and welfare at the primary production level.
At a policy and governmental level there are complex issues and challenges faced by the Aquaculture sector responding to socio-economic, political and environmental challenges that may occur as a result of primary production systems.
Last but not least, with an increase in the industrialisation and technology recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) use, there is a need for technical engineers who understand the biological needs and requirements of aquatic organisms.