Ontario College Graduate Certificate in Aquaculture Co-op
Aquaculture involves a range of activities, related principally to farming marine and freshwater fish and seafood. The salmon industry accounts for the majority of aquaculture operations in Canada.
This compressed, one-year program is the only Aquaculture program offered as a Post-Graduate Certificate in Ontario. Food aquaculture operations encompass a wide variety of species and culture techniques. In addition to food production, aquaculture activities include production of fish for conservation, and production for ornamental species. The global demand for aquaculture products is growing, along with demands for stewardship, sustainability and food safety and security. This unique program combines:
- Significant hands-on operational experience
- Numerous field trips to experience aspects of the aquaculture industry such as trout farming and conservation stocking
- Business training so that graduates can both promote the industry and understand the diverse challenges facing aquaculture enterprises
During first semester, students will address aquaculture fundamentals. Much of the program will take place in the campus hatchery facilities, which include an Atlantic salmon hatchery and a muskellunge hatchery.
The focus in second semester is on operational and business practices, and internship planning.
Final semester is an 8-week, off-site, paid co-op experience, enabling students to specialize in their area of interest.
Please note: In addition to paying tuition and fees for 2 semesters of study, students pay a co-op fee (approximately $558.00) for administrative costs associated with the co-op placement.
The industry is growing in all sectors, including food production, conservation, aquaponics and pond/garden markets. The work is physically demanding and may involve exposure to unfavourable weather conditions. Graduates should be prepared to relocate for employment, and to undertake entry level or contract work initially. With an aging workforce, those who possess strong leadership and communication skills, plus aptitude for mechanical troubleshooting, are prime candidates for promotion into lead hand or supervisory roles.
- Aquaculture is the fastest growing food production activity in the world (UN Food and Agriculture Organization)
- Canada is the 4th largest salmon producing country)
- Canadian aquaculture accounts for 14% of total seafood production and 35% of its value
- Undergraduate degree or Ontario College diploma in an environmentally related field, such as fish and wildlife, conservation, environmental studies, biology, ecology, forestry or geography)
- Applicants with relevant experience who do not meet the admission requirements may be considered on an individual basis by the program co-ordinator)