Qualification - Foundation Diploma in Fish Care and Consultancy VEN103

Course CodeVEN103
Fee CodeFD
Duration (approx)1000 hours
QualificationFoundation Diploma


This Foundation Diploma covers a wide range of subjects relating to the care and production of fish.  

If you work within the fish industry as an employee or are looking to develop your own business this course will provide you with the knowledge to expand your prospects.

If you hope to develop employment or business opportunities with fish; this course could be one of the very best starting points for you to do that.

The ten 100 hour modules in the course include Marine and Freshwater Aquaculture, Aquaponics. Marine Studies, Animals in a Permaculture System, Aquarium Management and Starting Your own Business.  


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Foundation Diploma in Fish Care and Consultancy VEN103.
 Animal Health Care VAG100
 Aquarium Management BEN105
 Marine Studies I BEN103
 Permaculture III VSS106
 Starting A Small Business VBS101
 Aquaculture -Marine BAG220
 Fish Farming & Aquaculture BAG211
 Marine Studies II BEN203
 Natural Health Care for Animals BAG218
 Aquaponic Farming BHT319

Note that each module in the Qualification - Foundation Diploma in Fish Care and Consultancy VEN103 is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Almost 50% of the world’s seafood comes from aquaculture and it continues to increase as the global fish demand expands. Well managed fish farms are essential for a healthy end product that will be used for human consumption. This strategy will depend on the amount, type and quality of fish food, antibiotics, preservatives, hormones and other additives that are generally included during their production. It is important to focus on production methods that minimise health risks in the human and animal population as well as the environment. 

Contaminants can be found in both farmed and wild caught fish and this can vary greatly upon geographical area, age and diet of the fish and, of course, the species. The pollutants of most concern include heavy metal bioaccumulation (i.e. methylmercury), radiation contamination (i.e. Fukushima nuclear disaster), agricultural pesticides, production drugs and other persistent organic pollutants or POP’s contaminating the land and the Ocean. Methylmercury and POP’s, on the other hand, may come from the atmosphere (and into the Ocean) due to fossil fuel combustion.  

Farmed fish accumulates toxins mainly from their diet, as it comes directly from fish meal and oil coming from wild pelagic fish, whereas apex predators like sharks, tuna and swordfish, will be most likely to contain high levels of mercury and other heavy metals if caught in the wild. According to this point of view, farmed fish may be a safer option for human consumption only if their source of food comes from areas with lower levels of toxic pollutants. There are, however, alternative methods that can be used to reduce contaminants in farmed fish, such as the use of activated carbon filters, or simply by reducing the amount of fish meal and oils used for their feeding. 

Studies have shown that lower concentrations of contaminants are found in the lower hemispheres, however, in today’s fast growing economic society, large amounts of imports and exports are taking place to and from different parts of the world, which leaves us with the ongoing clue about where and how these fish are being farmed or caught. So, unless we know the origin as well as the production and manufacturing processes, we will be uncertain about the quality of fish we are consuming.

Aside from the quality and origin of fish feed used in aquaculture, another concern arises as to whether consuming farmed fish is better than wild caught fish. Farmed fish requires a constant dose of chemicals to treat and prevent fish from harmful diseases. These chemicals include antibiotics, probiotics, pesticides, algaecides, insecticides, herbicides and disinfectants, among others. Chemicals like these, if not managed properly, can concentrate in the sediments and end up affecting both aquatic and terrestrial wildlife, as well as the human population when they consume wild caught and farmed fish contaminated from the oversupply of these chemicals.

A well managed aquaculture farm will prevail the importance of maintaining fish health and protecting the harmful effects towards the environment by understanding the seriousness of appropriate water quality both for the fish and effluent discharges, as well as reducing the amount of chemicals (or using more natural alternative products) needed to support fish health and prevention of diseases. There are many options available to attain and maintain a healthier aquaculture farm system, it is the degree of value given to research these options and implement them that will make a difference.


If you plan freshwater aquaculture....

What Fish have a Proven Track Record?

Globally, many different freshwater fish species have been successfully farmed, on a small or large scale. Your choices will frequently be limited though by what is legally able to be farmed, and what is available where you live.
Most developed countries do impose restrictions, banning some fish species and requiring licences to farm others. 

All of the following have been farmed successfully somewhere:
Trout (several species)
Catfish (several species) (i.e. Asian Catfish or Pangasius - Pangasianodon hypophthalmus)
Eels (several species)
Carp (several species)
Sturgeon (Acipenser and Huso)
Silver Barbel 
Tench (Tinca tinca)
Roach (Rutilus rutilus)
Roho labeo
Milkfish (Chanos Chanos)
Wuchang Bream (Megalobrama amblycephala)
Northern Snakehead (Channa argus)
Tilapia  – Nile Tilapia
Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) & relatives (Micropterus sp.)
Barramundi or Asian Sea Bass (Lates calcarifer)
Golden Perch (Macquaria ambigua)
Jade Perch (Scortum barcoo)
Murray Cod (Maccullochella peelii)
English Perch or Redfin (Perca fluviatilis) ( same category as European Perch)
Silver Perch (Bidyanus bidyanus)
Sleepy Cod (Oxyeleotris lineolata)
Sooty Grunter (Hephaestus fuliginosus)
Red Drum or Corbine (Sciaenops ocellatus)

Some other species are farmed as baitfish eg. Gold fish, Flathead minnows, Golden Shiner
Others are farmed for Ornamental fishponds or Aquaria.


You can start the course at any time.

It is studied by distance learning, so you can study in the comfort of your own home. But this doesn't mean you are all alone in your studies.  Our highly qualified and friendly tutors are there to help you every step of the way.  If you have any questions at all, they are always happy to help.

To complete the course, you are required to study ten 100 hour modules.

There is an assignment at the end of each lesson. For example, in the Marine Studies I module, there are nine lessons, so nine assignments.

At the end of each module, there is also an examination which you can take at a time and location to suit you.

To pass the course you are required to pass all assignments and ten exams.

If you are not sure about going straight to the Foundation Diploma, you can study each of the modules mentioned as a standalone course. Please click on the links for more information.






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