Certificate in Sustainable Marine Aquaculture

 14 weeks per module
$500 per module
September or January each year
i Undergraduate Level Certificate
University of Massachusetts Boston

Course Director
Jennifer Bender

UMASS Boston

Courses are delivered 100% online

US$500 per module

Certificate Description

This certificate program comprises five, 14 week, introductory college level modules/courses on Sustainable Marine Aquaculture. The program is run via University of Boston Massachusetts. The modules are taken individually and can build into a certificate program.

The modules enable individuals to quickly gain basic knowledge in Aquaculture subjects for entry into the workforce. It also provides professional development options for individuals seeking to change positions, retrain for a new career, and especially for international workforce development, to obtain US institution credentials.

The modules can be taken individually and in any sequence, however a total of three modules must be completed to earn Certificate Level Certification from UMASS. A Certificate of Attendance is provided for each completed module.

Want more information?  Please email the course director:

Modules available

The certificate program currently comprises 4 modules, with a 5th coming in 2023.
Modules 114 and 134 and 215 are running in January 2023 and can be booked online. Click the “Apply Here” button to go to the sign up page, and register as a Guest Student.

114 - Sustainable Marine Aquaculture: Biology

This module provides an introductory overview of marine aquaculture with a specific focus on biology. Students will explore the essential aspects of fish and invertebrate biology including anatomy, physiology and environmental requirements. Topics covered include:

  • Fish biology: Anatomy & physiology
  • Fish biology: Environmental requirements
  • Fish respiration and osmoregulation
  • Nutrition & fish health
  • Fish biology – Life stages
  • Crustacean anatomy, physiology & environmental requirements
  • Crustacean physiology: Gas exchange, reproduction, life stages, health & disease
  • Bivalve mollusc anatomy, physiology & environmental requirements
  • Bivalve mollusc reproduction, life stages, health & disease
  • Anatomy, physiology, life-stages & health of other aquaculture species
  • Aquatic biology and aquaculture
124 - Aquaculture Production (Sept 2022)
This module is designed to provide an overview of animal production and associated environmental and regulatory aspects of the industry. The course also introduces aspects of business and market development for cultured products with special focus on marine aquaculture and shellfish. Topic covered include:

  • Principles of aquaculture production
  • Environmental requirements of production
  • Invertebrate Aquaculture Production
  • Land Based Systems
  • Cage Culture Systems
  • Offshore aquaculture
  • Recirculating Aquaculture
  • Larval Rearing
  • Genetics and Production
134 - The Business of Marine Aquaculture
This module examines the elements of working in and managing a successful aquaculture operation. Aquaculture is currently the fastest growing segment of the food industry, with about half of what we eat from the ocean coming from aquaculture. This is an increasingly competitive space that suffers from a tradition of malpractice and misunderstanding as well as a regulatory culture that lags far behind an innovative rate. Site selection, gear, seed and feed procurement, marketing, and supply chain dynamics are all important elements of a successful aquaculture operation that demand an understanding of regulatory, financial, and marketing and entrepreneurial principles. This course is designed to introduce students to these challenges and equip them with the tools needed to engage within the industry on a sophisticated, successful level.  Topics covered include:

  • Business Plan & Business Plan presentation
  • Leasing, Licensing and Regulation
  • Accounting
  • Best Management Practices: Operation, Facilities and Equipment
  • Site selection
  • Harvest and handling
  • Operations: Food Safety. HACCP
  • Risk and Insurance
  • Basic Marine Safety (online boating class)
  • Business Plan Development
  • Scalability
215 - Aquaculture Nutrition
The module will provide an understanding of the key aspects of nutrition of cultured species and cover the importance of nutrition and feed management in commercial aquaculture operations. The course will also assess the sustainability of raw material sources such as fish meal and the effectiveness of alternative protein replacements, and understand the relationship between nutrition and fish health. Topics include:

  • Feeding and digestion – invertebrates
  • Feeding and digestion – fish
  • Proteins and Nutrition
  • Lipids and Nutrition
  • Carbohydrates and Nutrition
  • Nutrient sources and requirements – invertebrates
  • Nutrient sources and requirements – fish
  • Feed production
  • Feed management
  • Feed sustainability
216 - Sustainable Seaweed Aquaculture
This module will examine the general biology and production of algae/seaweed. Algae such as kelp are becoming increasingly important, globally, in aquaculture. Topics will include taxonomy, morphology, distribution and habitat, nutrition, significant ecological interactions (such as carbon sequestration), and life cycles. Kelp that exists in the wild and kelp that is cultured have different impacts.  Topics covered include:

  • Overview of Seaweed
  • Biology of Seaweed
  • History of Seaweed
  • Uses for Seaweed
  • Seaweed Sustainability
  • Seaweed Sustainability and Food
  • Seaweeds in the Wild and Aquaculture
  • Regulatory environment
  • Farming Seaweed
  • Processing Seaweed
  • New Frontiers

Entry Requirements

Anyone with a high school diploma (or equivalent) interested in a career in the aquaculture industry.

If you have any questions, please email the course director:

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