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Aquaculture is that the farming of aquatic organisms, which include fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants. With the assistance and intervention from humans being implied within the farming for the rearing process to reinforce production, like regular stocking, feeding, protection from predators, etc. Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being cultivated. Aquaculture is often be mistaken because of the harvest of fisheries. But these two are two various things. How so? In aquaculture, aquatic organisms are harvested by a private or corporate body that has owned them throughout their rearing period, while the harvest of fisheries is when the aquatic organisms are exploitable by the general public as common property resources, with or without appropriate licences. because the human population within the world is getting bigger day by day, aquaculture is one of all the world’s solvers to satisfy the growing needs of human food, hence, to do this, the aquaculture sector has to grow even bigger and greater.

Capital, investment, development of the farming practices, feeds, water quality, and other fundamental requirements for aquaculture production are always the new topics and being paid most attention to in aquaculture. However, the input that individuals usually overlook in making a successful business is that the workforce itself. At present, many countries have developed educational programs that provide an adequate workforce for aquaculture with various levels within the program. It is vital to use an informed and trained workforce as they play a critical role to substantiate that the aquaculture sector can sustainably adapt to ongoing changes and so the increasing demand for securing food. Through these educational programs, the workforce is ready to tackle the emerging challenges and possess the requisite knowledge and skills to bolster industry sustainability. In spite of that, a series of recent extensive surveys of aquaculture producers are held within us and a shortage of labour was cited together of the very best five problems confronting aquaculture producers (Engle, van Senten, & Fornshell, 2019; van Senten & Engle, 2017; van Senten, Engle, Hudson, & Conte, 2020; van Senten, Engle, & Smith, 2020).

(RAS Aquaculture worker and interns)

Labour cost is another major expanse of aquaculture and is one of the causes that prevent the expansion of this sector. As mentioned before, shortage of labour has been an issue during this sector which ended in an absence of skilled labour. How does this issue contribute to the high expanse? This happens because most of the aquaculture workers that are highly trained and skilled have a far higher cost of labour. Adding thereto, the remoteness of the workplace and better wages of employment opportunities in other sectors were found to compete with aquaculture and so the broader seafood sector for both skilled and unskilled labour.

Last but not least is that the transformation from earlier labour-intensive farming methods to greater mechanization (Li & Li, 2020). This transformation allowing the aquaculture sector to site production closer to markets, improve environmental control, reduce catastrophic losses, minimize environmental regulations by reducing effluents, reduce production costs, and improve product quality. As an example, in Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), people are still finding ways to enhance the productivity and efficiency of the use of labour potentially as this can be as important to profitability because of the scale of production (Engle et al. 2021). The development and adoption of automated systems in aquaculture farms are still growing and changing to suit the character of the demand for labour in aquaculture.

When we combined the effects of reduced availability of traditional labour, increasing labour costs, the requirement to boost efficiency and productivity of labour to scale back production costs, then the transformation of aquaculture to greater productivity demand a more skilled as compared to an unskilled workforce. Thus, there's a robust need for more research on these and other issues that affect the aquaculture workforce. Developing and meeting the workforce needs of aquaculture is crucial to its continued growth.


Engle, C. (2021). The workforce needed to support future growth of aquaculture. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society. 10.1111/jwas.12838.

Lee, P. G. (1995). A review of automated control systems for aquaculture and design criteria for their implementation. Aquacultural Engineering, 14(3), 205–227.

National Aquaculture Sector Overview. Malaysia. National Aquaculture Sector Overview Fact Sheets. Text by Mazuki Hashim. In: FAO Fisheries Division [online]. Rome. Updated . [Cited 11 August 2021].

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