Education & Training for Fishers & Aquaculture Producers

Educational requirements range from basic fish biology and water quality testing and system designs for fish farms, to marine vessel operation and safety and diver training. 

With over 100 wild and cultured species from B.C., the seafood sector is highly diverse and relies on a wide range of technologies. Fish farms can range from simple ponds, to large net-pen arrays anchored in the ocean, to highly complex automated recirculation systems (RAS) on land. B.C.’s fishing fleet includes some 2,500 vessels, mostly consisting of vessels 10-25 metres in length, but also including smaller vessels such as dive boats and larger vessels such as freezer trawlers.

Post Secondary Programs & Short Courses in B.C.

Vancouver Island University (VIU)

Fisheries and Aquaculture Program

  • 2 – year Diploma
  • 1 – year Post-Degree Diploma
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Fisheries & Aquaculture (4 years)

Natural Resource Extension Program

Short courses and certificate programs are offered in locations around the province, Topics include:

  • Fisheries monitoring & surveying methods
  • Marine safety
  • Water quality monitoring (freshwater)
  • Fisheries field skills
  • Environmental monitoring, and others

North Island College

Aquaculture Technician 1 Certificate

A 14 week course prepares students to work as a farm or hatchery technician at aquaculture operations in coastal B.C., nationally and internationally. Gain skills to work toward maintenance, harvest and net cleaning crew positions, or as a deckhand on harvest vessels, wellboats, feeding and site maintenance vessels.

Marine Training

Transport Canada Marine Safety approved education and training, which includes marine emergency duties, Small Vessel Operator Proficiency (SVOP), Fishing Master courses, and others.

Camosun College

Nautical Training

Programs and courses toward achieving Fishing Master designation.

Excel Career College

Aquaculture Technician Diploma Program

Get the training you need to become an integral part of the growing aquaculture industry. The program is 25 weeks (approximately 500 hours) total, including 23 weeks of classroom training and a 2 week practicum placement.

Workshops & Seminars

Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences (CAHS)

Fish Health Workshop (Freshwater/Marine)

Gain a better understanding of the practical applications of fish health techniques, through a combination of lecture, hands-on experience and discussion to advance the fish health knowledge and skills you already possess.

Sea Lice Identification Workshop

This workshop combines lectures and group discussion with hands-on experience to increase understanding of sea lice biology and current management practices.

Fish Safe BC

This industry-driven initiative focuses on providing safety training and tools to commercial fishers. It includes the Safest Catch Program, Stability Education Course, Safe on the Wheel (SVOP) Course, and Restricted Operator Course Maritime (ROC-M).