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MARINE AQUACULTURE BAG220

Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
Mariculture - MARINE AQUACULTURE -Distance Education Course

Learn about the marine aquaculture industry

  • Deals with the farming of salt water species of fish, shellfish, seaweed and other marine products
  • Learn to plan and manage the farming of a wide variety of marine life 
  • Self paced study, expert tutors, start anytime, 100 hours of learning to give you a sound foundation in marine aquaculture.

The term “Mariculture” refers to a sub-category of Aquaculture that deals specifically with Marine Aquaculture.

According to the FAO the term “Mariculture” (in its present usage) may be defined as:

 

“The culture of marine organisms, both plants and animals, in an aquatic medium or environment which may be completely marine (sea), or sea water mixed to various degrees with fresh water. This definition would include both the sea and inland brackish-water areas. These can be freshwater or salt water organisms, or have development phases in both types of waters.”

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

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MARINE AQUACULTURE SHORT COURSE

Distance Education Course
  • Deals with the farming of salt water species of fish, shellfish, seaweed and other marine products
  • Learn to plan and manage the farming of a wide variety of marine life
  • Self paced study, expert tutors, start anytime, 100 hours of learning to give you a sound foundation in marine aquaculture.

According to the FAO the term “Mariculture” (in its present usage) may be defined as:

“The culture of marine organisms, both plants and animals, in an aquatic medium or environment which may be completely marine (sea), or sea water mixed to various degrees with fresh water. This definition would include both the sea and inland brackish-water areas. These can be freshwater or salt water organisms, or have development phases in both types of waters.”

Lesson Structure and Content

There are 11 lessons in this course:

     Lesson 1 - Aquaculture Production Systems

    • What is mariculture?
    • Purposes of mariculture
    • Classification of culture systems
    • Extensive production (Ep)
    • Intensive production (Ip)
    • Classifications based on system input
    • Open systems (off-shore and near-shore)
    • Semi-closed systems
    • Closed systems (on shore)
    • Common culture method for each marine category
    • Cage culture
    • Cage design: Floating flexible, floating rigid, semi-submersible and submersible
    • Hanging Culture: Raft and suspended trays
    • Long-line culture
    • Vertical or rack culture
    • Bottom culture: Bottom sowing and cultch lines
    • Stone, stake culture, net and umbrella culture
    • Semi-enclosed: flow through tanks
    • Closed Systems (CAS): Recirculating, raceways, and inland ponds

    Lesson 2 -Starting a Marine Aquaculture (Mariculture) Business

    • Economics of establishing and running a farm
    • The need for a feasibility study
    • Economic analysis
    • Requisites for establishing a business
    • Factors to consider
    • Industry competition
    • Availability of leased and quotas
    • Economy of scale
    • Site selection and water quality
    • Properties of salt water
    • Water quality management
    • Environmental impacts.
    • Food chain problems
    • Using wild broodstock
    • Nutrient pollution
    • Chemical pollution
    • Spreading pathogens
    • Escapes
    • Habitat effects
    • Managing environmental impacts
    • Improving the genetic quality of fish
    • Biotechnology

    Lesson 3 - Choosing a Species

    • Choosing a marketable species
    • What information is available?
    • Understand your competition before selecting a species
    • Common mariculture species
    • Selection criteria
    • Climate
    • Water resource
    • Finance
    • Scale of operation
    • Market demand and access
    • Availability of animals
    • Risk considerations
    • Product markets
    • Product, price and promotion

    Lesson 4 -Finfish

    • Industry overview
    • Types of mariculture
    • Broodstock/seed supply
    • Growout
    • Commonly cultured species
    • Tuna
    • Atlantic salmon
    • Steelhead Salmon (Saltwater rainbow trout)
    • Yellowtail (Japanese Amberjack)
    • Sea Bass
    • Gilt-head sea bream
    • Water quality management

    Lesson 5 - Crustaceans

    • Industry overview
    • Types of mariculture
    • Broodstock/seed supply
    • Growout
    • Commonly cultivated species
    • Penaeid shrimp (prawn)
    • Graspid Crabs
    • Lobster

    Lesson 6 - Molluscs and Echinoderms

    • Industry overview - molluscs
    • Types of bivalve culture
    • Broodstock/seed supply
    • Growout
    • Abalone
    • Oysters
    • Cultured mussels
    • Scallops
    • Giant clams
    • Industry overview - echinoderms
    • Types of mariculture
    • Broodstock/seed supply
    • Growout
    • Commonly cultivated species
    • Sea Urchins
    • Sea cucumbers

    Lesson 7 - Seaweeds and Aquatic Algae

    • Industry overview
    • Types of mariculture
    • Broodstock/seed supply
    • Land-based cultivation systems
    • Tanks
    • Ponds
    • Sea cultivation
    • Farming methods
    • Vegetative cultivation
    • Cultivation involving a reproductive cycle
    • Commonly cultivated species
    • Laminaria japonica
    • Porphyra sp.
    • Undaria sp.
    • Eucheuma seaweed

    Lesson 8 - Pharmaceuticals

    • Pharmaceatical value of marine organisms
    • Examples of species used in marine biotechnology
    • Sea urchin
    • Sea cucumber
    • Marine sponges
    • Seaweeds (algae)

    Lesson 9 - Diet Formulation and feeding

    • Feeding strategies
    • Nil input
    • Water fertilisation
    • Supplementary feeding
    • Complete diet feeding
    • Fish feed
    • Feeding and feed components
    • Environmental problems associated with fish feeding
    • Mycotoxins in feeds
    • Aflatoxins
    • Ochratoxins
    • Fumonisins
    • Trichothecenes
    • Managing mycotoxins in prepared feeds

    Lesson 10 - Health Management – Diseases and Parasites

    • Causes of disease
    • Health management and mitigation strategies
    • Treatment of diseases and parasites
    • General principles
    • Common signs that fish are unhealthy
    • Common diseases of finfish
    • Emerging pathogens
    • Common diseases of crustaceans
    • Common diseases of bivalves (molluscs)

    Lesson 11 - Harvest and Post Harvest Handling

    • Examples of product forms
    • Harvest/post harvest handling of selected species

    Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

    Course Aims

    • Explain general mariculture production systems
    • Discuss the factors involved in setting up a business
    • Evaluate factors that need to be considered when choosing marine species for aquaculture in your region.
    • Explain the commercial production of finfish
    • Explain the commercial production of crustaceans
    • Explain the commercial production of molluscs
    • Explain the use and production of Seaweeds and Aquatic Algae
    • Discuss the role of echinoderms in mariculture. Explore the pharmaceutical uses of marine organisms
    • Explain general diet formulation and feeding
    • Describe issues related to the health management of marine animals used in aquaculture.

     

    Fish farms need to be based on sound financial calculations. Being able to grow fish is critical; but it is just as critical to be able to manage money. How much is needed to be started, what will be the return and how long will it take to break even, what are the annual operating costs, etc.  The economics of production can be very variable depending on the species to be farmed, the land and environment where it is to be developed, labour and materials costs, and other business running costs (administration, taxes, etc).

    Mariculture is a complicated business and anyone who intends entering it should undertake extensive research on the topic. It requires a large investment of time and money over a period of years. By conducting a feasibility study before starting a farming venture, you can determine how much it will cost to operate a farm and if the right conditions for growing a particular species are available.

    Given the high start-up costs, most successful mariculture operations target high-value fish, such as ornamental fish, as well as food fish, such as red snapper, salmon, and eels. Shellfish mariculture has a broader product range including clams, oysters, shrimp, scallops, and crabs. Algae are often produced with finfish or shellfish to provide a food source for the primary product.

    A major cause of failure in any aquaculture or mariculture operation is poor marketing. In mariculture, farmers are competing with wild-caught commercial species. This can be beneficial, given wild stocks are declining and seasonal availability can produce supply shortages that a producer can fill if he or she can arrange harvests for the times of shortages. However, if wild catches are plentiful, the producer may not be able to sell the product at a price that covers costs.

    Since supplies from capture fisheries are unlikely to increase in the coming decades and the world population is currently over six billion and growing, aquaculture producers will have a significant role in producing much needed animal protein to feed future generations. Due to freshwater scarcity in many areas of the world, mariculture is expected to be the future of aquaculture. Where this occurs will depend upon:

    • the availability of natural resources to support production,
    • availability of seed stock
    • access to feeds and production technology (processing facilities)
    • access to equipment and supplies such as boats, farm platforms, SCUBA gear etc
    • access to markets
    • access to health management, consultants, and technical services (i.e. grafting technicians for oysters) services
    • a supportive regulatory environment, and
    • Public acceptance of the environmental impacts that inevitably accompany any food-producing endeavour.

     

    Course Duration - 100 hours

     

     

     

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    Meet some of our academics

    Alison Pearce (animal)B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Masters Degree in Ecotourism. P.G.Cert. Ed. (Science). Alison's first job was in 1982 as a stockwoman, working with pigs in Yorkshire. Within a few years she of that she was working for the University of Western Australia as a Research Technician and instructor with their school of Agricultural Science.In 1989 she moved to Melbourne University as Unit Manager and Instructor in Animal Husbandry. By the mid 1990's she moved back to England to work in Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing at Cambridgeshire College of Agriculture. Throughout her career, Alison has developed and delivered courses in veterinary nursing and animal sciences for vocational colleges and universities in Australia, New Zealand and Australia. She has built a high level of expertise and an outstanding international reputation as an expert in animal sciences.
    Barbara Seguel B.Sc. M.Sc.Agricultural science graduate, biologist, marine scientist, aquaculturist and educator. Barbara has worked on farms, in ecotourism, education and publishing. She is widely travelled, having been educated in both California and Chile; and having worked in Hawaii, Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.
    Dr. Gareth PearceGraduated from the University of Nottingham in 1982 with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Between 82 and 85 worked as Research Assistant and Demonstator in Animal Science at the University of Leeds. Over more than 30 years he has furthered his studies, obtaining eight significant university qualifications including degrees in Veterinary Science, Wildlife Conservation and Animal Behaviour. Gareth has significant teaching experience around the world as a faculty member at eight different universities including Associate Professor at Murdoch University and Director of Studies in Veterinary Science at Cambridge University. He has over 100 prestigious research papers published, and enjoys an outstanding international reputation in the fields of animal and veterinary science.
    Marius Erasmus Subsequent to completing a BSc (Agric) degree in animal science, Marius completed an honours degree in wildlife management, and a masters degree in production animal physiology. Following the Masters degree, he has worked for 9 years in the UK, and South Africa in wildlife management, dairy, beef and poultry farming.


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