Aquaculture (Co-op) Curriculum

School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences

Accepting Applications for September 2022

See curriculum for: September 2023
Credential: Ontario College Graduate Certificate ( 3 semesters )
Classes begin:
September 06, 2022
Offered at:
Frost Campus
Program code:
Tuition & Ancillary Fees:
$4,590.03 per semester*
$10,964.39 per semester*
* Tuition and fees subject to change.

Vocational Learning Outcomes

  • Perform a variety of aquaculture field skills competently, in accordance with established norms, and in a way that provides leadership and direction for others where required.
  • Assess environmental aspects of aquaculture and communicate the results to a variety of stakeholders using current and relevant terminology.
  • Recognize and justify the diversity and potential for aquaculture as alternative source of fish protein.
  • Monitor and assess fish health and environmental conditions at an aquaculture site.
  • Describe and distinguish all life stages and culture techniques of select marine and freshwater species.
  • Examine and evaluate the business viability and potential for various aquaculture operations.
  • Assess the economic and social viability of specific aquaculture technologies and design.
  • Lead and maintain a variety of acquaculture operations, employing the appropriate mechanical and technical skills as required.
  • Supervise and evaluate aquaculture field crews in accordance with established protocols.

Courses and Descriptions

Semester 1

Units/ Hours: 45

Students will become familiar with health and safety legislation and regulations, common safety hazards in aquaculture settings and the employer/employee relationship. Through self-directed learning, students will acquire safety certifications that are required or desired by many employers in the aquaculture industry (e.g. First Aid, CPR, WHMIS, truck and boat operation).

Units/ Hours: 30

In this course, introductory lectures will be given on the natural history, environmental requirements, reproduction and culture techniques of a common species used in aquaculture. Students will research an aquaculture species relating to their career interest and present their findings in a report and presentation.

APST 119
Units/ Hours: 30

At the start of the second semester the student should have a good idea of their specific career interest in aquaculture. The intent of this course is to provide the tools to pursue their career interest and establish a connection with a potential business partner. This will be done by researching and networking with the industry, and will be evaluated by in-class presentations on: - Define Scope of Interest - Specific Environmental and Legislative Issues - Progress Report of Networking with contact of a potential Business Partner.

FLPL 189
Units/ Hours: 150

This course will familiarize students with the routine skills and husbandry procedures associated with working in a fish hatchery environment. Each student will clean tanks, observe and feed fish, measure water quality, examine fish health, record fish husbandry data and monitor the operation of the mechanical systems. After the principles and practice of these skills are demonstrated by the professor, students will practice these skills in the Atlantic salmon and muskellunge hatcheries under the guidance of technicians.

MECH 233
Units/ Hours: 45

Through weekly lectures and seminars, students will become familiar with the design, operation and maintenance of a variety of production systems used in extensive and intensive aquaculture sectors including pond, flow-through, recirculation and cage systems. By examining 'what if' scenarios, emergency response procedures will be analyzed and practiced. Students will research, document and compare a mechanical system used in the aquaculture industry and present their findings in a seminar and written report.

APST 120
Units/ Hours: 45

During the first semester the student will take a 5 day tour of the rainbow trout cage farming industry in Lake Huron. At field locations and evening sessions, industry representatives will share their knowledge and experience of the trout and salmon farming industry. At some sites students will get the opportunity to practice net cage skills such as feeding and net changing.

Semester 2

Units/ Hours: 45

Business models for common aquaculture enterprises will be discussed. Students will complete an independent project to demonstrate their knowledge of the business aspects of an aquaculture enterprise, and present it in a seminar.

Units/ Hours: 21

The main objective of this course is to provide an overview of the many varied applications of aquaculture in Canada and overseas to assist the student when choosing a particular career path in aquaculture. Through lectures and seminars career opportunities will be discussed in food aquaculture industries (trout and salmon farming, tilapia, carp and catfish culture and shellfish culture), fish hatchery management for recreational fisheries, conservation aquaculture (restoration of species at risk) and small business aquaculture ventures such as the aquaponics, and ornamental pond industries. Environmental issues, legislation pertaining to aquaculture and community interaction and development will also be covered.

Units/ Hours: 45

Throughout the second semester students will participate in seasonal aquaculture operations such as fish stocking of Atlantic salmon smolts and muskellunge fingerlings, and walleye egg collections. Also fisheries techniques such as electro fishing, boat handling and setting of trap nets and gill nets will be practiced in the Kawartha Lakes area. Prior to these field trips a mini lecture on the principles of these practices will be given.

Units/ Hours: 45

Through a series of guest lectures, field trips, and student participation in seminars, culture techniques of the following cool and warm water species will be covered: - Muskellunge Culture - Walleye Culture - Sturgeon culture - Bass Culture - Tilapia Culture - Present and Potential Culture and Restoration practices for Species at Risk - Polyculture - Aquaponics

FLPL 190
Units/ Hours: 150

The objective of this course is to increase the skill sets that students gained from the semester one course, and create an awareness of how the skills are intrinsically linked in the daily operations of a commercial fish hatchery. Each week, two students will be assigned to supervise fish husbandry procedures in the Atlantic salmon and muskellunge fish hatcheries .

APST 162
Units/ Hours: 45

During the second semester the student will take a 5 day tour of various land based facilities in Ontario. These may include a processing plant, fingerling rainbow trout grow out, tilapia production, shrimp production, research and state of the art Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry facilities.

Semester 3

APST 121
Units/ Hours: 320

This course is designed to allow the student the opportunity to obtain aquaculture related experience through a co-op work term of 320 hours with an organization selected by the student and approved by the program coordinator. It provides the student with the opportunity to apply existing knowledge and skill either through observation and/or applications.