Aquaculture North America

BTC program is unique to the West Coast

May 31, 2022
By Liza Mayer

Brought to you by Bellingham Technical College’s (BTC)

Bellingham Technical College’s (BTC) Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences program is the only two-year program on the West Coast that provides hands-on training with algae and shellfish culturing, with a focus on hatchery technology. The program also operates two salmon and trout hatchery facilities and annually rears millions of salmonids for tribal, commercial, and recreational harvest. Students are trained in a variety of culturing methods, including flow-through technology, recirculating aquaculture systems, and aquaponics. Outside these training facilities, the program also supports a robust field training curriculum to prepare students for careers in fisheries biology, water quality monitoring, habitat restoration, shellfish farming, and natural resource management. 

Finfish, shellfish, and algae are essential to provide aquatic protein and nutrients to feed the world’s growing population. Whether cultured or sustainably harvested from nature, trained technicians and biologists are needed to support the rapidly growing Blue Economy.

BTC’s Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences program is dedicated to educating students about the immense value of these aquatic resources. Its multifaceted curriculum, which is housed in an award-winning facility with specialized classrooms and wet labs, gives students a strong foundation for their future careers and a deep understanding of aquatic species and their habitats. Experts teach the scientific theory and technical skills required to help propagate and conserve these aquatic resources through sustainable cultivation and wildlife management.

The BTC Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences program offers two Associate degrees (transfer track or direct employment) and numerous short certificates for students either exploring their interest in blue careers or established industry members desiring advanced technical training. Multiple courses are offered online to support distant learning and provide flexibility for a diverse body of students. 


For more information about this one-of-a-kind program, contact BTC at 360.752.8345 or

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