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Farm Supervisor - 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 Supervisors spend time in the field and time in an office or lab.

  • Finfish Farm Supervisors may be involved in product marketing. They are often involved in food safety protocols, and often do some of the book work.
  • Farm supervisors operate farm equipment and acquire skills/knowledge through a combination of on-the-job training, formal training, and experience. Typically, Farm Supervisors need some combination of two to three years of post-secondary education; or two to five years of apprenticeship training; or three to four years of secondary school and more than two years of on-the-job training, specialized training courses or specific work experience.

Typical Job Titles

  • Aquaculture Supervisor
  • Farm Assistant Manager
  • Assistant Hatchery Manager
  • Lead hand/Assistant Manager (salmon)
  • Supervisor 
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What are the major tasks associated to this job?

Finfish Farm Supervisors supervise activity related to growing, raising, and harvesting livestock.

  • Supervise implementation of the strategic plan 
  • Supervise employees 
  • Supervise risk management 
  • Build customer relations 
  • Supervise occupational health and safety 
  • Supervise food safety and security 
  • Supervise maintenance of infrastructure, equipment and supplies 
  • Supervise production and harvesting 
  • Monitor compliance with legislation, regulations and standards 
  • Verify compliance with standard operating procedures   
  • Follow environmentally sustainable and stewardship practices 
  • Supervise maintenance of fish containment structures 
  • Supervise spawning and early rearing 
  • Supervise feeding 
  • Monitor compliance with biosecurity protocols 
  • Supervise maintenance of fish health and welfare 
  • Supervise fish handling 
  • Supervise the grading, transfer and movement of stock 
  • Supervise the use of production equipment, tools and technology 
  • Supervise stock harvesting 
  • Supervise 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
  • Feed Management
  • Initiative
  • Problem Identification and Problem Solving

What attracts people to this job?

Leadership and supervisory skills and experience are valuable in aquaculture operations, as well as other sub sectors of agriculture and other industries.

  • Supervisors are people who can deal with almost any situation on the farm. On small operations, the owner often works as a supervisor.

Are there opportunities for growth in this job?

Finfish Farm Supervisors with extensive training and experience can become Managers. Lateral moves into different technical specialties or to other sites are also common.

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

Depending on the operation and the region of Canada, pay for aquaculture supervisors ranges. Benefits may include:

  • Performance bonuses, Christmas bonuses, and possibly health and dental coverage.