Marine Aquaculture (Mariculture)

Learn about the general selection and management for farming salt water species of plants and animals.
  • Deals with the farming of salt water species of fish, shellfish, seaweed and other marine products
  • Learn to plan and manage the farming of a wide variety of marine life
  • Self paced study, expert tutors, start anytime, 100 hours of learning to give you a sound foundation in marine aquaculture.

“Mariculture” is a sub-category of Aquaculture that deals specifically with Marine (salt water) Aquaculture.


Course Content and Structure

This course includes the following lessons:

Lesson 1: Aquaculture Production Systems

  • What is Mariculture?
  • Purposes of mariculture
  • Classification of culture systems
  • Extensive production (Ep)
  • Intensive production (Ip)
  • Classifications based on system input
  • Open systems (off-shore and near-shore)
  • Semi-closed systems
  • Closed systems (on shore)
  • Common culture method for each marine category
  • Cage culture
  • Cage design: Floating flexible, floating rigid, semi-submersible and submersible
  • Hanging Culture: Raft and suspended trays
  • Long-line culture
  • Vertical or rack culture
  • Bottom culture: Bottom sowing and cultch lines
  • Stone, stake culture, net and umbrella culture
  • Semi-enclosed: flow through tanks
  • Closed Systems (CAS): Recirculating, raceways, and inland ponds
Lesson 2: Starting a Marine Aquaculture (Mariculture) Business
  • Economics of establishing and running a farm
  • The need for a feasibility study
  • Economic analysis
  • Requisites for establishing a business
  • Factors to consider
  • Industry competition
  • Availability of leased and quotas
  • Economy of scale
  • Site selection and water quality
  • Properties of salt water
  • Water quality management
  • Environmental impacts.
  • Food chain problems
  • Using wild broodstock
  • Nutrient pollution
  • Chemical pollution
  • Spreading pathogens
  • Escapes
  • Habitat effects
  • Managing environmental impacts
  • Improving the genetic quality of fish
  • Biotechnology
Lesson 3: Choosing a Species
  • Choosing a marketable species
  • What information is available?
  • Understand your competition before selecting a species
  • Common mariculture species
  • Selection criteria
  • Climate
  • Water resource
  • Finance
  • Scale of operation
  • Market demand and access
  • Availability of animals
  • Risk considerations
  • Product markets
  • Product, price and promotion

Lesson 4: Finfish

  • Industry overview
  • Types of mariculture
  • Broodstock/seed supply
  • Growout
  • Commonly cultured species
  • Tuna
  • Atlantic salmon
  • Steelhead Salmon (Saltwater rainbow trout)
  • Yellowtail (Japanese Amberjack)
  • Sea Bass
  • Gilt-head sea bream
  • Water quality management
Lesson 5: Crustaceans
  • Industry overview
  • Types of mariculture
  • Broodstock/seed supply
  • Growout
  • Commonly cultivated species
  • Penaeid shrimp (prawn)
  • Graspid Crabs
  • Lobster
Lesson 6: Molluscs and Echinoderms
  • Industry overview - molluscs
  • Types of bivalve culture
  • Broodstock/seed supply
  • Growout
  • Abalone
  • Oysters
  • Cultured mussels
  • Scallops
  • Giant clams
  • Industry overview - echinoderms
  • Types of mariculture
  • Breedstock/seed supply
  • Growout
  • Commonly cultivated species
  • Sea Urchins
  • Sea cucumbers
Lesson 7: Seaweeds and Aquatic Algae
  • Industry overview
  • Types of mariculture
  • Broodstock/seed supply
  • Land-based cultivation systems
  • Tanks
  • Ponds
  • Sea cultivation
  • Farming methods
  • Vegetative cultivation
  • Cultivation involving a reproductive cycle
  • Commonly cultivated species
  • Laminaria japonica
  • Porphyra sp.
  • Undaria sp.
  • Eucheuma seaweed
Lesson 8: Pharmaceuticals
  • Pharmaceutical value of marine organisms
  • Examples of species used in marine biotechnology
  • Sea urchin
  • Sea cucumber
  • Marine sponges
  • Seaweeds (algae)
Lesson 9: Diet Formulation and feeding
  • Feeding strategies
  • Nil input
  • Water fertilisation
  • Supplementary feeding
  • Complete diet feeding
  • Fish feed
  • Feeding and feed components
  • Environmental problems associated with fish feeding
  • Mycotoxins in feeds
  • Aflatoxins
  • Ochratoxins
  • Fumonisins
  • Trichothecenes
  • Managing mycotoxins in prepared feeds
Lesson 10: Health Management – Diseases and Parasites
  • Causes of disease
  • Health management and mitigation strategies
  • Treatment of diseases and parasites
  • General principles
  • Common signs that fish are unhealthy
  • Common diseases of finfish
  • Emerging pathogens
  • Common diseases of crustaceans
  • Common diseases of bivalves (molluscs)
Lesson 11: Harvest and Post Harvest Handling
  • Examples of product forms
  • Harvest/post harvest handling of selected species


Duration: 100 hours

What does Mariculture involve?

Mariculture involves farming marine life -normally animals, but also plants (eg. seaweed for sushi)

There are many different places you can farm marine life; from open oceans to protected estuaries; and many different ways you can farm sea life.  Choosing a species of marine creature that will produce successfully in your area, and understanding their management, there are important considerations that should be looked at when making a decision. These may include:

Choose a marketable species

Some species may easy to grow but are more difficult to market than others. You need to be informed as to which fish will sell best in your anticipated market.

What information is available?

Attempting to farm species with incomplete production information or production peculiarities is a very risky venture. Although some species are widely consumed, some have unsolved production problems. 
Faced with production obstacles, a producer could fail to reach production goals.

In any new business, and especially in mariculture, cumulative short-term setbacks can lead to heavy monetary losses.

Understand your competition before selecting a species

If you are considering mariculture as a business because you think there is limited competition, then you should reconsider. Many seafood industries are well established and very competitive.

Understanding your competitors allows your production and marketing programs to develop around specific species and markets which will provide you with the greatest profit. Remember also that other seafood is not the only competition you will have to consider. Competition from all protein sources, such as poultry, beef and pork, must be considered.
Your choice will depend on many considerations, including:
  • Climate
  • Water resources
  • Finance
  • Scale of operation
  • Other resources: manpower, knowledge, Support services, etc.
  • Ecological considerations: availability of animals, legislation on living animal trade
  • Risk Considerations: disease, pest, reliability of growth rate, stability of markets
  • Market demand and access

Some of the Most Commonly Farmed Marine Life

The following species are (globally) more commonly farmed than most others:

  • Japanese kelp (Laminaria japonica)
  • Pacific cupped oyster (Crassostrea gigas)
  • Japanese carpet shell (Ruditapes philippinarum)
  • Yesso scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis)
  • Laver / Nori (Porphyra spp.)
  • Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)
  • Tambalang / Elkhorn / Spinosum (Eucheuma cottonii)
  • Giant tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon)
  • Blue mussel (Mytilus edulis)
  • Blood cockle (Anadara granosa)
  • Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida)
  • Fleshy prawn (Penaeus chinensis)
  • Red seaweeds (Kappaphycus spp. & Eucheuma spp.)
  • Whiteleg shrimp (Penaeus vannamei)
  • Japanese amberjack / Yellowtail (Seriola quinqueradiata)
  • Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis)
  • Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)
  • Green mussel (Perna viridis)
  • Gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata)
  • Silver / Red seabream (Pagrus major)
  • New Zealand / Green shelled mussel (Pena canaliculus)
  • European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax)


Just go to the top of this page for pricing and enrolment options. If you have any questions you can contact us now, by:
Phone (UK) 01384 44272, (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or

Email us at [email protected]