Fishery Scientist Career Information
What a Fishery Scientist does
With scientific fish culturing the quality of fishes can be improved and the unpredictability of the catch be minimised. This way fishing as an occupation can be made more viable. This is all the more significant considering the increased global demand for quality fishes and canned foods.
As a scientist, your job will involve not just experimenting in a laboratory, but also working in fish farms. You will strategise aquatic systems through fish community management. Assessing the impact of change in habitat on fishes and reviewing the experiment methodology is also your job as a fishery scientist.
As a scientist, you will study fish and fauna and research projects mainly focused on the effects of human activities on aquatic systems. For e.g. impact on fish breeding due to manmade structures such as dams.
A major branch of Fishery Science is Aquaculture. This is mainly farming of aquatic organisms (e.g., fish, aquatic plants, etc.) in natural or controlled marine or freshwater. You will create commercial hatcheries and breed fishes in grow-out ponds and see to it that they reach good marketable size. Developing novel and innovative technologies for use in aquaculture, for example aerators, pumps, feeding equipment etc. will also be done by you as a scientist.
As a fishery scientist, your will develop new aquaculture species and also create innovative and cost effective solutions in aquaculture. You will then market the products and even export it abroad. Another good option is to offer expertise from project formulation stage to the implementation and successful operation of hatchery and farming.
As a fishery scientist, you can find employment opportunities in:
Career avenues are numerous in Fishery Science. Opportunities lie in government agencies, State Departments of Agriculture and organisations such as the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI). Recruitment to these institutions is through the State Public Service Commission. Private research companies in India and abroad are also entering this area with large investments.
Several corporate houses have also entered the area of fish food processing and marketing, for which persons specialised in Fish Processing Technology or Fisheries Resources and Management are preferred.
Apart from these, as a fishery scientist, you also have academic options. Fisheries and Aquatic Resource research is conducted in many institutions across the country. If you have good research skills, then as a scientist, you can find employment in organisations such as the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), the National Fisheries Development Board and others.
Your services as a scientist, will also be sought in building an Oceanarium or a Public Aquarium. Self-employment is another challenging option. You could set up your own private hatchery. The population of fish and water animals is fast depleting with industrial and urban wastes polluting seawater. This has given rise to hatcheries who to fill the gap between supply and demand.
Other opportunities include:
• Supervision of fish research centre
• Areas in Fish preservation, freezing, canning, etc.
• Domestic and export marketing
• Research and preservation of marine life
• Hatchery and Farm Management
• Prawn and shrimp farming in coastal areas as an export oriented unit
• Post-harvest management and processing of stock
Apart from these as a scientist, you can find opportunities in various allied fields such as of aquaculture, fish nutrition, fish pathology, fish genetics and biotechnology.
• With a vast coastline of 8000 km extending over ten states, India is home to more than 300 varieties of fish
• India holds the seventh position in the world as regards to the value of fish exports
• Pretty impressive statistics indeed! But we are far from realising our true potential
• Most of us look at software engineering and management as lucrative options
• Agriculture is not considered 'hot' and fishery science is almost unheard of
• But the fact remains that demand is not able to meet supply. So opportunities are there for the taking
Abilities & Traits Required
• A curious, inquisitive mind would help you in research areas
• Quick thinking and the ability to come up with new and more advanced ideas are a must
• You need to have high stamina and energy levels, able to work even in disagreeable weather conditions
• This is important as you cannot afford to turn down a project just because you are feeling seasick or because you are afraid of sharks
Fishery Science can be studied at the BSc level after completing 10+2 with Biological Science as one of the subjects. You can also do your MSc in Fishery Science after completing your BSc in Zoology. Your understanding of Biology, Chemistry and Physics will constantly be drawn upon in your study of Fishery Science.
Your starting salary will be in the range of Rs 18000-35000 a month. Government jobs don't offer much growth but offer stability, something you would not get especially in the fish farming industry.
Research positions especially in private firms are more lucrative in the range of Rs 25000-45000 per month. But these are usually reserved for doctorate holders with experience. Money for studies that are carried out by teams of fishery experts is usually on a project to project basis.