Fish farm workers help to breed and rear fish in ponds, tanks, cages or nets in the water. Most fish such as salmon, trout or shellfish are farmed for food, but some are bred for angling or for ornamental ponds. They are also called fish husbandry workers or fish farm technicians.
You could be:
feeding fish by hand or operating automatic feeding systems
grading fish by size, moving them to bigger tanks or cages
checking and maintaining water quality
checking fish for disease, preventing and treating infection
draining and cleaning tanks, filters and nets
repairing tanks or cages
getting fish ready for sale, gutting them and packing them in ice for transport
maintaining buildings and equipment, involving basic joinery, plumbing and electrical work.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting salaries for fish farm workers range from around £15,000 to £16,500 a year. With experience, this can rise to £23,000 a year, sometimes more.
Some companies offer bonuses and sometimes accommodation and use of a vehicle as part of the package.
In most cases, you would have to live in the country or by the sea, often in a rural or remote area.
In 'Open Sea' fish farming, workers live on residential barges at fish farms off the west coast, on a shift work basis.
Working hours can be unsocial, including evenings and weekends, and you may have to work alone at times. You would normally have a 40-hour week.
You would work outdoors in all weathers and it will often be wet and cold.
You might have to do heavy lifting.
You may have to enter water, in pools, the sea or lochs, to check fish.
You may need to work from a boat.
You would need to be able to cope with the sight of blood, and you would wear protective clothing.