NIC's Shellfish Aquaculture Technician certificate provides you with in-demand skills to support aquatic food production for marine, freshwater and land-based systems. This includes the production of various species of oyster, mussel, clam, cockles, geoduck, abalone, seaweeds, microalgae, as well as upcoming species such as sea cucumbers, urchins, prawn/shrimp, crab, and crayfish. Curriculum includes technical aspects of production, with a primary focus on hatchery and juvenile rearing, culture in on-growing systems, biosecurity, post-harvest processing and marketing.
In order to complete the program, you will need to hold or complete valid industry certifications in Occupational First Aid Level 1, WHMIS, Small Vessel Operator Proficiency Training, Small Non-Pleasure Craft Marine Emergency Duties, Restricted Operator's Certificate – Maritime, Forklift Operator, Marine Basic First Aid, Transportation of Dangerous Goods and Confined Space Awareness.
During your studies, you will apply these certificate skills to the aquaculture farm setting so you can gain hands-on knowledge of standard operating protocols, emergency response procedures and routine record-keeping.
The program provides you with 460 hours of instruction and hands-on training, with an additional 85 hours of industry certifications delivered over four months.
As a Shellfish Aquaculture Technician certificate graduate, your skills are applicable to shellfish aquaculture operations in coastal BC and national and international locations.
After completing the certificate program, you will qualify for positions such as fisheries field technician, shellfish culturist, aquarist, shellfish hatchery technician/manager, shellfish stock enhancement and assessment technician, algologist or algal technician, shellfish health technician, research assistant and fish laboratory technician. This program prepares graduates for future senior-level roles, including shellfish aquaculture site manager, shellfish aquaculture production manager, shellfish fisheries manager, aquaculture/fisheries salesperson, shellfish processing staff, environmental education outreach worker, federal/provincial government licensing agent or fisheries/shellfish aquaculture consultant.
You can also further your training and education to become a graduate student and or teacher specializing in Shellfish Aquaculture and Algology (for those with B.Sc./M.Sc. degree).
BC Shellfish Growers Association Members
Private Shellfish Companies (shellfish farms, hatcheries)
Seafood Marketing Companies
Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)
Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
Ministry of Environment
Environmental Non-Profit Organizations
First Nation Communities
Consulting Companies (Aquaculture, Fisheries, and Environmental)
Post-Secondary Academic Institutions offering Aquaculture and Fisheries Courses