Aquaculture North America

Features Education
Training the next generation

May 27, 2020
by Bellingham Technical College

BTC’s Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences program imparts the knowledge needed to help manage and conserve aquatic resources Credit: BTC

As the world’s population grows, it is more imperative than ever to have a safe, healthy and sustainable source of food for people around the globe. Aquatic species—including fish, shellfish, and plants and algae—are essential to feed this growing population.

The Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences program at Bellingham Technical College (BTC) is dedicated to educating students about the immense value of these aquatic resources. Experts teach the science and skills needed to help manage and conserve those resources through sustainable farming and harvesting.

BTC’s Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences program is the only two-year program on the West Coast that provides hands-on training with algae and shellfish. Its multifaceted curriculum teaches algae, finfish and shellfish culturing, and conservation, as well as data collection, entry and analysis. Blending science with hands-on learning in the lab and in the field gives students a strong foundation for their careers and a deep understanding of aquatic species and their habitats.

Much of this learning takes place at BTC’s Perry Center for Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences. The award-winning facility features specialized classrooms, wet and dry laboratories and an algae laboratory. The Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences program operates two hatcheries, allowing students to apply what they’re learning in the classroom and the lab to the real world.


Graduates of the program are eligible for technical positions in the public, non-profit, and private sectors, including: shellfish and finfish commercial farming, tribal and government stock enhancement hatcheries, fisheries conservation and management agencies, fisheries vessel and port sampling, and in emerging industries such as aquaponics and alternate feed production.

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

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