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Sea Farm Operations

Get the skills needed to work at fish hatcheries and marine farms.

A man in rubber boots and hip waders farms and harvests shellfish in shallow ocean water.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
19 Weeks
College Certificate

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Sea farming is a significant economic driver for rural and coastal communities in Nova Scotia. With the value of seafood exports expected to double by 2024, a skilled workforce is needed to meet labour demands within the aquaculture sector.

In this 19-week program, you get the skills needed to support freshwater and marine farming and land-based operations. You learn about equipment and procedures used to produce high-quality aquaculture products. Both shellfish and finfish operations will be covered through the courses in this program to provide training on a wide range of species that are farmed within Canada.

Work experience

  • Work placement is a mandatory credit course, providing the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Sea Farm Operations has two 2-week work placements, one in land-based operations and another in marine-based operations.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid.
    • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • This new program has been developed in partnership with industry, and industry representatives are directly involved in your hands-on training at NSCC.
  • Courses are designed to give you a well-rounded experience that parallels industry workplaces.
  • You have opportunities to collaborate with the Oceans Technology program on applied research projects involving the application of new technologies in aquaculture, such as robotics, automation, environmental health, fish health and feeding patterns.
  • You gain practical experience and apply your skills during a work experience.
  • You graduate with a portfolio that captures your skills and achievements – a definite asset in a competitive job market.

2022-23 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

January 2022

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Shelburne Campus/Online Shelburne Full time Blended BlendedDelivered through a combination of in-person and scheduled online classes. Seats available

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

Program requirements

Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


2022-23 tuition will be announced in the late Spring once approved by the government of Nova Scotia. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional. Amounts below were for the 2021-22 academic year.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Graduates can apply their skills to sea farm operations in coastal Nova Scotia, nationally and internationally, and qualify for many entry-level positions at aquaculture facilities.
  • Jobs include working as a sea farm or hatchery technician, inshore harvester, quality assurance technician and deck hand.

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