What does a Fish Farmer do?
Fish farming involves breeding shellfish and fish such as
salmon and trout for the food industry. Some fish
farmers rear other types of fish to stock lakes and rivers
for angling purposes, or for ornamental ponds. Farms
either breed their own fish by hatching eggs from adult
stock or buy in young fish from elsewhere and rear
Freshwater fish may be kept in tanks, ponds,
cages or concrete raceways. Marine fish are housed in
large pens or sea cages. Shellfish are farmed in their
natural marine environment.
The main areas of work
in fish farming are:
- feeding fish by hand or by
filling hoppers that feed them automatically. Shellfish
feed naturally from the sea
- monitoring the health
- grading fish or shellfish by size and
moving them to bigger tanks or other holding units
- maintaining water quality by making regular checks
on factors such as water temperature and oxygen
content, cleaning filters and screens that trap leaves
and other debris on freshwater farms, treating water
before releasing it back into the river
fish when ready for sale
- selling fish to the public
and/or trade customers
- maintaining buildings,
equipment and fish habitats, including the cleaning of
ponds and screens.
As most fish farms have
small numbers of staff, managers usually do many of the
above tasks, as well as supervising fish farm workers.
They also keep records and accounts; buy fresh stock,
feedstuff, equipment and materials; and are sometimes
responsible for fish processing or smoking units.
Managers must also ensure that their enterprise
complies with environmental standards and objectives
agreed with local authorities, and that legal
requirements are met.
Some fish farms provide
What's the working environment like working as a Fish Farmer?
Fish farms operate seven days a week. Hours can be
long and may include early mornings, evenings,
weekends and emergency callouts. A rota system may
be in operation.
Fish farms tend to be in isolated
areas. Work is outdoors in all weather conditions. It is
active work, involving heavy lifting, standing, bending
It may be necessary to drive a vehicle
to collect feed or equipment and deliver fish to local
buyers, so a driving licence is often useful.
What does it take to become a Fish Farmer?
To be a fish farmer you should:
- have an
enthusiasm for fish and their welfare
- have a
variety of practical skills eg woodwork, welding, basic
- be able to work on your own, as well
as part of a small team
- have good health, be fit
and able to cope with heavy work
- be prepared
to work outdoors in all weathers
- have the ability
to adapt to new technology
- be able to swim
- have business and communication skills and be
Fish Farmer Career Opportunities
If you would like to know anything about Fish Farmer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.Institute of Fisheries Management
22 Rushworth Avenue
Tel: 0115 982 2317
British Trout Association
The Rural Centre
Tel: 0131 472 4080
Tel: 0845 707 8007
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