Aquaculture Foundations - Curriculum

School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences

Accepting Applications for September 2023

Credential: Ontario College Certificate ( 3 semesters )
Classes begin:
September 05, 2023
Offered at:
Frost Campus
Program code:
Tuition & Ancillary Fees:
$2,345.58 per semester*
$8,358.49 per semester*
* Tuition and fees subject to change.

Vocational Learning Outcomes

  • Evaluate biological factors and report on unusual fish behaviour to assist the identification of fish health and welfare concerns.
  • Identify, test, and inspect aquaculture components and systems to maintain industry standards, such as water quality.
  • Contribute to the collecting and processing of daily water quality and fish husbandry data to monitor fish health, welfare, and growth.
  • Perform work responsibilities in accordance to applicable provincial and federal safety and environmental regulations and company policies to ensure health and safety of fish and humans.
  • Conduct basic math calculations, such as feed conversions, mortality rates, flow rates, growth rates, to assess facility operations, fish health, and fish growth.
  • Apply common fish handling techniques to optimize fish health and maximize growth of various species approved to be raised in Canada.
  • Identify and integrate historical and contemporary Indigenous and non-Indigenous views and practices to meet the needs of non-Indigenous and Indigenous participants in aquaculture.

Courses and Descriptions

Semester 1

Units/ Hours: 30

This course will give students an insight to Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) regulations/policies and how fish and the aquaculture industry are represented in those policies. Proper welfare related operational procedures will be discussed. Students will complete a module about safe animal handling.

Units/ Hours: 60

In this course, students will learn about the fundamentals of land based aquaculture infrastructure, including the components of a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). Students will be exposed to mechanical equipment such as rotor drum filters, sand filtration, UV disinfection, pumps, dissolved oxygen generators, air compressors, piping types, and degassing.

Units/ Hours: 30

This course introduces students to the relevant provincial and federal legislation regarding an aquaculture operation. Students will be introduced to legislation that is relevant to Indigenous communities in Canada. In addition, third party certifications such as Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) will be explored.

Units/ Hours: 30

This course explores the global history of aquaculture and different methods of raising various aquatic species in a variety of settings will be introduced. There will be a focus about the importance of aquaculture to rural and Indigenous communities, as well as global trends. We'll explore the species raised in Ontario and globally, including common myths and misconceptions about the industry.

Units/ Hours: 30

In this multidisciplinary course, students will explore a variety of topics focusing on environment and ecology with an Indigenous perspective & worldview. This course will provide students with the tools that enable them to blend Indigenous & Western approached to sciences, community engagement, environmental resource management/assessment, mining, aquaculture, fish & wildlife, while critically examining health and historical impacts.

Units/ Hours: 45

This foundational mathematics course introduces mathematical principles and skills to prepare students for a career in aquaculture. Topics covered will include calculator skills, the use of significant digits, measurement and weight conversions, perimeter, area, percentages, and volume calculations, fundamental algebraic skills, reading charts and graphs. The skills will be applied to areas such as fish growth, feed conversion ratios, tank volumes, and tank density.

Units/ Hours: 45

In this course, students will explore various water quality parameters and their limits that are required to run an effective aquaculture facility. Topics may include: the nitrogen cycle, dissolved oxygen, temperature, ammonia, plankton, ozone, and modes of applying oxygen. Microscope use will also be reviewed.

Semester 2

Units/ Hours: 60

In this course, students will gain an understanding of the various types of open net pen operations and the various equipment associated with. Anchoring of open net pen, variety of nets and net sizes, feed delivery and camera systems will be explored.

Units/ Hours: 45

In this course, students will be exposed to anatomy and organ function of various species raised in aquaculture in Ontario. Students will gain an understanding of how to perform a necropsy and identify signs of basic disease. Blood sampling and organ sampling will also be covered, as well as an introduction to treatment dosages for minor diseases, therapeutic treatments, vaccines, and antibiotics, and safety.

Units/ Hours: 45

This foundational safety course introduces relevant legislation that impacts student's daily work as aquaculture technicians. Safety skills, identification and practices will be reviewed including topics such as knots, lock out tag out, confined spaces, batteries, sharps, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Units/ Hours: 60

In this course, students will learn routine skills and husbandry procedures associated with working in an aquaculture environment. Fish handling, grading, feeding, and tank maintenance will be introduced and students will calculate proper flow rates, exchange rates, and densities for various species and rearing units.

Units/ Hours: 60

This course provides the students an introduction to the daily operations of an aquaculture facility. Topics may include: walkarounds, equipment checks, harvesting, production planning, and redundancy and emergency alarm response.

Semester 3

FLPL 266
Units/ Hours: 90

In this applied course, students will work in a hands on aquaculture environment to apply the skills learned throughout the program.