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Career Opportunities in Aquaculture and Marine Biotechnology
Biotechnology is the use of biological organisms of their cellular constituents in a human-controlled fashion for beneficial purposes. It is growing globally and contributing billions of dollars to the economy. Animal biotechnology, industrial biotechnology, seri-biotechnology, plant biotechnology, environmental biotechnology, medical biotechnology, microbial biotechnology, food biotechnology and aquaculture and marine biotechnology are some of the areas of specialization in biotechnology.
Basic groundwork for entry into biotechnology would be the science stream at plus two levels. After this, the options are to go through a degree in agriculture, veterinary science and animal husbandry, medical, life science, genetics, pharmacy, microbiology, botany, zoology, chemistry, chemical engineering/ technology, agricultural engineering, food technology, human biology and allied subjects like aquaculture and marine sciences before going for specialization in biotechnology. One can start off with biotechnology/ genetics as a subsidiary/subject at the graduation level after a plus two in the science group. At University of Agriculture Sciences, courses are offered at College of Fisheries for B. F. Sc. and M. F. Sc. in fisheries sciences after plus two level.
There are large number of opportunities in the aquaculture and marine sector to work as a marine biologist/marine scientist, fish farm hand like hatchery/farm operator, fisheries extension officer/ technical officer, feed mill manager, processing and production manager, fish export inspector, export manager, R&D professional, aquaculture entrepreneur, consultant in management of fish farms, both in private and govt. sector, business establishments etc.
At present, there is great paucity of skilled manpower in the area of designing, construction, management of fish farms and hatcheries.
Every state government is having fisheries department in which fisheries graduate can apply for the post of Assistant Fisheries Development Officer (AFDO)/ Fisheries Extension Officer (FEO) and District Fisheries Development Officer (DFDO). One can get job in central agencies like Marine Product Export Development Authority (MPEDA), Fisheries Survey of India (FSI) etc.
In the private sector, job opportunities are available in fish processing companies, aquaculture farms, hatcheries, aquafeed plants, fishing gear industries and in pharmaceutical companies.
In academic institutes, candidates having Postgraduate degree can apply for the post of Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Fisheries. For the recruitment of scientist in various agricultural and fisheries Institutions under the ICAR, ASRB conducts an All India Competitive Exam, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) followed by viva voce.
As an entrepreneur, after obtaining the professional degree in B. F. Sc, candidate can start their own enterprise. Financial support can be obtained through NABARD or through other nationalized banks. NABARD gives financial support to the candidate having B. F. Sc. degree. The main area in which fisheries enterprise can be developed are ornamental fish culture, aquaculture, hatchery and seed production, commercial pearl production, fish disease diagnostic centre, consultancy services and establishment of agriclinics.
Candidates after bachelor or master degree can apply for higher education in fisheries, aquaculture, marine sciences and biotechnology in USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, China and in European countries as well. Apart from this, there is a demand for fisheries professional in the aquaculture and processing sectors in Gulf and African countries also.
The increasing demand for sea food, sea based medicines and growth of eco friendly industries is likely to create a huge demand for oceanographers.
The following universities/ institutes are providing education and career opportunities through MSc, MTech. PhD and diploma courses in various disciplines of aquaculture, marine biotechnology and ocean sciences:
· Andhra University, Waltair- 530003
· Goa University, P.O. Santa Cruz, Teleigao Plateau, Goa-403002
· Berhampur University, Bhanja Bihar, Berhampur-760007
· Cochin University of Science and Technology, P. O. Kochi- 682022
· Mangalore University, University Campus, Mangala Gangothri-574199
· CAS in marine biology, Anhamalai University, Annamalai Nagar
· National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa-403004
· Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, West Bengal-721302
· Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Cochin -682014
· Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, P. O. Kausalya-ganga, Bhubaneshwar-751002
· Central Institute of Fisheries Education (Deemed Fisheries University), Versova, Mumbai- 400061
· Central Institute of Brackish water Aquaculture, Santhome High Road, R A Puram, Chennai-600028
· Central Inland Capture Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore - 743101
· Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Matsyapuri PO, Kochi - 682029
· National Research Centre for Cold water Fisheries, Bhimtal- 263136
· National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources, Canal Ring Road/ PO Dilkusha, Telibagh, Lucknow -
There are many special institutions, which offer various short term courses, training in various fields
such as hatchery management, fish processing and fish farm implement manufacturing. Some of the important institutes offering special training in this field are: Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), TASPARC and OSSPARC Prawn Hatcheries in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, Central Institute of Fisheries Research, Nautical and Engineering Training-Cochin and Integrated Fisheries Project - Cochin.
Apart from these, fourteen fisheries colleges are offering B. F. Sc. and M.F.Sc. in inland aquaculture, freshwater aquaculture, Mari culture, industrial fisheries, fish processing and post harvest technology, fish nutrition, pathology environment, ecology and extension etc.
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