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Farm Labourer - Finfish Production

 Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance / Alliance de l'industrie canadienne de l'aquaculture

Finfish Farming Overview

The ‘aquaculture’ industry is one of the smallest agricultural employers in Canada, but it’s also the fastest growing. The rising global demand for fish protein is predicted to create a strong market for this export-reliant industry over the next 10 years.

  • The main finfish species grown in Canada are salmon and trout, with steelhead, Arctic char, Atlantic cod, sablefish, Atlantic halibut, white sturgeon and tilapia also produced. The predicted growth in global demand for aquacultural products will drive a need for additional workers to boost output and meet the market demand.

Find job information for a Finfish Production

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Finfish Farm Labourers perform a wide variety of tasks that depend on the type of operation.

  • Finfish Farm Labourers may work outside year round in all kinds of weather. During harvest, workers may stand for much of the day cutting up fish. On the Pacific coast, some operations are located in isolated areas, which may mean workers have to stay in a camp some of the time.
  • Boat safety and Occupational Health and Safety courses are beneficial, and are often provided in-house.
  • Farm Labourers are fully supervised, may operate farm machinery, and acquire skills/ knowledge through on-the-job-training. Typically, farm labourers need no formal education or prior farm experience.

Typical Job Titles

  • Farm Technician 1& 2
  • Line Labourer
  • Fish Plant Labourer
  • Farm Labourer
  • General Farm Worker
  • Hatchery Worker
  • Farm Assistant
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What are the major tasks associated to this job?

Farm Labourers assist with activities related to growing, raising, and harvesting livestock.

  • Comply with legislation, regulations and standards
  • Follow standard operating procedures
  • Maintain health and safety of self and others
  • Follow environmentally sustainable work practices
  • Assist with setup and monitoring of fish containment structures
  • Assist with spawning and early rearing
  • Assist with feeding fish
  • Maintain biosecurity 
  • Maintain health and welfare of fish
  • Handle fish 
  • Assist with grading, receiving and transferring stock
  • Use equipment, tools and technology
  • Assist with maintenance of equipment, tools and technology 
  • Assist with harvesting stock 
  • Follow company policy when living in employee accommodations

What competencies are required for this job?

These competencies were identified as most important for successful job performance. 

  • Agriculture Health and Safety
  • Environmentally Sustainable Work Practices
  • Finfish Production
  • Teamwork
  • Animal Health and Welfare
  • Continuous Learning
  • Interactive Communication
  • Attention to Detail

 

What attracts people to this job?

This job is a good starting point for people seeking temporary or long term employment. In most cases it is not necessary to have finfish farming experience or even any formal working experience, nor is it necessary to have a high school diploma. Finfish farming:

  • Provides opportunities to work with leading edge aquaculture technology
  • Provides opportunities to progress in knowledge and experience without formal education
  • Gives the opportunity to live in a rural area
  • Provides opportunities for marine biologists looking for work in their specialty

Are there opportunities for growth in this job?

Finfish Farm Labourers that gain experience and learn to perform more complex tasks and activities will become an experienced Worker. With more production experience and some training courses, they can become specialized in some aspect of finfish production, or can become Finfish Farm Supervisors to manage a crew.

What are the typical pay rates and benefits for this job?

Depending on the operation and the region of Canada, pay for this job ranges, but tends to be hourly at minimum wage or slightly higher. 

  • Benefits are rare, but work is year round.