A Brighter Future Is aquaculture science and technology a promising major?

Is aquaculture science and technology a promising major?

Is aquaculture science and technology a promising major?

Is aquaculture science and technology a promising major?

What is Aquaculture?

Aquaculture relates to farming fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants, and looks towards sustainable ways to produce seafood to meet demand. As a result of its effectiveness in providing reliable sustenance, the field of aquaculture science and technology is fast becoming a crucial pillar in maintaining food security. This makes it a promising major for those interested in a career in this burgeoning industry.

A Solution to Food Insecurity

Aquaculture's primary benefit is boosting food production by providing means to increase aquatic food sources such as fish, shellfish, and algae through more efficient and productive methods in a sustainable manner. It can supplement traditional fisheries and meet the demands for popular species such as farmed salmon, tilapia, and shrimp.

There are a few ways aquaculture science is looking to do this, which include:

Designing indoor controlled systems:

Aquaculture allows for the control of optimal aquatic environments to counter seasonal changes and climate change. By correctly maintaining essential factors such as water quality parameters (e.g. temperature, oxygen) and feeding, farmed aquatic organisms can achieve better growth rates, lower mortality rates, and larger yields.

Selective breeding:

By selectively breeding for desirable traits, aquatic organisms can acquire many benefits as well. For example, while wild salmon typically takes 3 to 4 years to reach maturity, farmed strains have been known to do so in 12 to 16 months. Other improvements include better disease resistance, higher egg count, and more desirable meat quality.

Resource efficiency:

Aquaculture also looks into resource efficiency, especially when creating recirculation systems that reuse water and reduce unnecessary consumption. The closed-loop system can also help prevent the spread of diseases and parasites that can occur in net pens in the open sea.


New technology allows the ease of powerful setups and cost-efficient systems to be installed around the world, granting farming possibilities for a diverse range of aquatic organisms regardless of location. This can help meet the various demands of consumers for different types of seafood and navigate challenging trade situations like the recent COVID pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Benefits of Aquaculture and Technology

Aquaculture also provides improvements in other ways, such as:

Reduced pressure on wild fish stocks:

By farming fish and other aquatic organisms, aquaculture can help reduce the pressure on wild fish stocks, which are often overfished and become extinct. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization predicts that by 2030, farmed fish will provide more seafood for human consumption than wild-caught fish.

Job and economic opportunities:

Aquaculture provides jobs and income for people involved in the industry, including farmers, processors, and distributors. This can revive existing communities such as those in Southeast Asia, or generate new potential in untapped locations.

Minimise environmental impact:

Sustainable aquaculture practices can minimise negative environmental impacts by using fewer natural resources and designing them to work in the native setting. In some cases, the farms can even contribute to bettering the water quality, like oyster and macroalgae farms that take advantage of excess nutrients from the water by filtering them out.

Nutritional gains:

With selective breeding, engineering, and feed fortification, aquaculture can produce high-quality seafood products naturally rich in nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamins. This can open up nutritional options, especially in some areas where specific sources are rare or expensive.

The Importance of Aquaculture in Global Food Security and Environmental Business

Aquaculture is bringing innovation to farming methods, creating sustainable food distribution that can only improve with technological advancements. It’s not just helping socially and environmentally, but makes sense for businesses as it opens up growth opportunities at lower costs.

The United Nations announced that the world human population reached 8 billion in mid-November 2022 — three times that during the mid-twentieth century — and that this growth will continue to add another 2 billion persons in the next 30 years. Contributing factors such as extended lifespan and increasing urbanisation have made this possible, but this brings along other relevant concerns, especially food security.

The World Bank acknowledges the challenges in today’s food distribution and reports a worrying trend towards scarcity, citing reasons such as high commodity prices, adverse climatic conditions, and high food price inflation . As traditional farming methods attempt to fulfil needs, the demand continues to surge.

The global demand for seafood is rising, with Business Wire suggesting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.9% until 2026.

Faced with such requests, the field of aquaculture is becoming crucial to success, in order to overcome long-standing obstacles such as wild fish stocks declining due to overfishing and environmental degradation.

Career Opportunities as an Aquaculture Major

The aquaculture science and technology field is still relatively young and constantly evolving.

Those pursuing this path will need to learn about the engineering and design of aquaculture systems, as well as aspects of business management and marketing.

These roles include:

  • aquaculture technicians
  • fish health specialists
  • farm managers

If you enjoy investigative work, you can also choose to work in research and become one of the aquaculture scientists studying new technologies and methods for improving the sustainability and efficiency of aquaculture.

In addition, aquaculture-related businesses such as feed suppliers, equipment manufacturers, and marketing firms all need qualified professionals.

With such an array of positions and possibilities, an aquaculture science and technology major offers plenty of room to explore one’s calling.

With the growing demand for sustainable farming science and reliable food security, it will likely lead to a promising career in an important industry.

Dive into a variety of Aquaculture Programs at James Cook University Singapore:

For more information please don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected].

Published 23 Apr 2024