Definition: Aquaculturist Job Description

What are the missions of the Aquaculturist? What training to follow to exercise this profession? What are his outlets and his salary? The answers are provided to you by this Aquaculteur profession sheet.

Are you planning to work in agriculture and are you interested in the marine environment? Discover our aquaculturist job description.

Aquaculturist profession

Specializing in animal and plant production in aquatic environments, the aquaculturist is a somewhat particular breeder since all his breeding is located in an immersed environment. Discover in detail this little-known profession.

What is an aquaculturist?

The profession of aquaculturist consists in raising various animal and/or plant species of seawater and freshwater in order to market them. The aquaculturist can choose to specialize among four sectors: farming of fish, crustaceans, algae or molluscs.

The aquaculturist works mainly outdoors. Whether for breeding in seawater or freshwater, the aquaculturist exercises his profession outside, in water or on the water and whatever the weather. Depending on its breeding, the work will take place at sea, a pond or even a basin, or indoors in an aquaculture farm or hatchery.

The fish farmer is engaged in raising marine fish or freshwater.

The shellfish farmer raises shellfish and crustaceans. The best known are the oyster farmer (for oysters) and the mussel farmer (for mussels).

The aquaculturist manages all the stages of his sector, from the selection of species to their final marketing.

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It is a complete profession, close to nature.

Missions of an aquaculturist

Whatever the sector selected, the missions of the aquaculturist are varied:

  • Selection and breeding of species. For this, he collects fry or spat (all larvae or embryos) then contributes to their development.
  • Monitoring the health and reproduction of its species.
  • Monitoring of water quality, food
  • Compliance with regulations for sorting and grading species
  • Marketing of the production through its own distribution network or by offering it to catering professionals or fishmongers.

Qualifications required to exercise this profession

Passion for the sea

To get started in aquaculture, loving water and marine animals is an essential prerequisite because the work is done hand and foot in the sea or in a pond.

Good physical condition

This physical work requires being in good health, enduring and resistant to temperature variations. The working hours are irregular due in particular to climatic hazards or tide schedules, and he can work every day of the week, weekends and holidays included.


The aquaculturist works mainly on his own. Like any business manager, the aquaculture farm manager is multitasking and must be a handyman, accountant, scientist… at the same time.

Control of regulations

The Aquaculturist is also a specialized technician in biology who must master the very strict regulations in terms of agricultural production and respect the hygiene and safety instructions.

Have a diving certificate

For professionals who work in the open sea, possession of a professional diving certificate may be required.

Training to become an aquaculturist

Accessible in initial training or apprenticeship, the training courses to become an aquaculturist are:

CAP level

  • CAP conchyliculture,
  • CAP agricultural agriculture in hot regions – ARC (only in French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Martinique and Guadeloupe),
  • CAP development option management and maintenance in marine environment,
  • BEPA Aquaculture Productions;
  • BEP Maritime de Cultures Marines;
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Baccalaureate standard

  • Bac pro cultures marines,
  • Bac pro PA – aquaculture productions,
  • BP responsible for inland marine aquaculture operations,

Licence level

  • DEUST Marine and coastal technician,
  • BTSA aquaculture,

Master level

  • License pro Sustainable aquaculture and quality management;
  • Professional license Continental aquaculture and aquariology;
  • Master in Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences.

The shellfish farming CAP (maritime) is accessible from the 3rd which will allow progress to the BPAM (professional agricultural and maritime certificate) Aquaculture productions from 18 years and one year of experience.

To set up on your own, the graduate level (S, STAV or graduate pro – Aquaculture Productions or Marine Cultures) is recommended.

Salary of an aquaculturist

The salary of a novice aquaculture technician revolves around the minimum wage.

The salary of an experienced and more qualified aquaculturist depends on the size of the farm, the nature of its production and its status (employee, boss).

Evolution of the aquaculturist

Career development in aquaculture is limited. An aquaculture agent may choose to produce another species.

Aquaculturists employed in an aquaculture company or in an IFREMER (French Institute for Research for the Exploitation of the Sea) farm can decide to go on their own.

Trends in the profession

The aquaculture market is experiencing a crisis which makes it difficult to integrate the labor market as an aquaculturist. The number of jobs in this sector is steadily declining and the resumption of aquaculture operations remains complicated in France. But new opportunities are developing in Asia and South America.

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