Heading into the Fall 2023 semester, SUNY Cobleskill is adding to its list of agriculture and technology baccalaureate programs a new Bachelor of Science in Fisheries & Aquaculture.
The degree program replaces the College’s Bachelor of Technology in the same discipline, with the BS label placing additional emphasis on the required ecology, chemistry, and biology components of the major.
“The introduction of this Bachelor of Science degree program signifies a heightened commitment to our students in delivering the scientific study and research experiences that will best serve them in tomorrow’s job market,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Darcy Medica. “With this program, we are not only meeting the increasing need for skilled fisheries professionals but also addressing the critical need for sustainable fish production and natural resource management that will keep America’s food system running.”
Aquaculture, the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of animals and plants in all types of water environments, is the fastest growing segment of the agriculture industry.
Globally, aquaculture supplies more than 50 percent of all seafood produced for human consumption—and that percentage will continue to rise, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
With the demand for food fish on the rise, aquaculture provides quality protein for public consumption, while at the same time reducing over-fishing of the native species found in the nation’s rivers, lakes and oceans.
As a result, a demand has been created for a workforce skilled in operating fish hatcheries and biologists trained in fisheries resource management.
SUNY Cobleskill’s Fisheries & Aquaculture program gives students a hands-on experience raising brook trout, brown trout, and tiger trout and diverse fisheries management field experiences.
Students work in one of the largest and most diverse academic aquaculture facilities in the Northeast, including a 40,000-gallon coldwater hatchery, quarantine hatchery, warm water fish hatchery and earthen grow-out ponds.