BS in Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in the Philippines

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Program Overview

Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BS-FAR) is a four year degree program designed to teach the concepts of fisheries management, environmental management and multi-sectorial approach to coastal management. It also educates students on the proper methods to enhance the production of fisheries resources

The BS in Fisheries and Aquatic Resources students provides students with a strong scientific background on inland fisheries, marine fisheries and fish processing. It includes topics in natural resources management, interactions of the physics, chemistry and biology of aquatic ecosystems as well as with online mapping applications.

Subjects and Curriculum

The subjects in the BS-FAR curriculum are divided into four main categories:
  • General Education courses: Language and Humanities Cluster, Mathematics, Computer and Natural Science Cluster, Social Sciences Cluster, Mandated Subjects
  • Fundamental courses: Calculus, Statistics, Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Electricity and Magnetism, Botany, Zoology, Microbiology
  • Professional courses: Project Development and Management, Fisheries Entrepreneurship, Fisheries Extension, Aquaculture, Aquatic Ecology, Aquatic Resources, Ichthyology, Fisheries Management, Oceanography, Philippine Fishing Ground, Capturing Fisheries, Post-Harvest Fisheries, Meteorology, Fisheries Laws, Research Design and Methodologies, Seminar
  • Electives: Fishery Product Analysis, Fish Genetics and Breeding, Mariculture, Fish Health Management, Freshwater Aquaculture, Hatchery Management, Brackishwater Aquaculture, Aquaculture Engineering, Fish Stock Assessment, Marine Machineries, Navigation and Seamanship, Fishing Systems, Fish Processing and Plant Management, Food Engineering, Product Development and Value Addition, Utilization of Seaweeds and Algae
The BS-FAR program is taught to students through classroom lectures and through various laboratory and research works and experimental studies. Students are also required to attend seminars and visit marine/aquatic agencies.

Students also undergo On-the-Job Training in the different government and private agencies and complete an undergraduate thesis related to fisheries.

Is Fisheries and Aquatic Resources considered a profession?

Jobs related to the fisheries and aquatic resources sector are considered professions. Generally, a graduate of BS-FAR who passes the Fisheries Technologist Licensure Exam is called a Registered Fisheries Technologist.

The responsibilities of a Fisheries Technologist include:
  • Confer with biologists, fish pathologists and other fishery personnel to obtain data concerning fish habits, diseases, food, and environmental requirements.
  • Determine, administer, and execute policies relating to operations administration and standards, and facility maintenance.
  • Monitor environments to ensure maintenance of optimum conditions for aquatic life.
  • Collect information regarding techniques for fish collection and fertilization, spawn incubation and treatment of spawn and fry.
  • Devise and participate in activities to improve fish hatching and growth rates, and to prevent disease in hatcheries.
  • Direct and monitor the transfer of mature fish to lakes, ponds, streams, or commercial tanks.
  • Prepare reports required by state and federal laws.
  • Supervise and train aquaculture and fish hatchery support workers.
  • Direct and monitor trapping and spawning of fish, egg incubation, and fry rearing, applying knowledge of management and fish culturing techniques.
  • Design and construct pens, floating stations, and collector strings or fences for sea farms.

What are the admission requirements for the BS in Fisheries and Aquatic Resources program?

Requirements at each school may differ, but generally the requirements are the basic college admission requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate.
    Those who did not complete high school education may opt to first attend Alternative Learning System (ALS) and pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) to qualify for college. However, some universities only offer selected courses for PEPT passers
  • College entrance exam: some colleges conduct an entrance exam. You need to pass the college entrance exam with a specified rating set by the school.
  • Interview: must pass the interview conducted by the college.
(See sources 1, 2)

What skills, traits and attitude will help you succeed in this course?

  • Strong foundation in Science – part of the BS-FAR curriculum are basic and advanced science subjects; throughout the entire course, these science subjects will always be present therefore it’s important to have strong background in science.
  • Technical skills – the knowledge and ability to learn, operate and control properly and safely an extensive range of equipment, tools and systems used in the field
  • Ability to work outdoors in uncomfortable conditions – both as a student and as an employee, you will be exposed in the field doing manual work. Being comfortable with the outdoors is essential.
  • Problem-solving skills – during the OJT, you will encounter problems that cannot be solved by reading your textbooks. The course deals with studying fish and aquatics resources and they are part of nature; nature is an uncontrolled environment, problems may arise from time to time which may need immediate attention.
  • Detail Oriented – the ability to notice and identify even the most minute problems in a system, process or equipment.
  • Logical skills – the ability to determine how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Patience – laboratory and practicum exercises may be very time consuming and sometimes difficult, thus it is important to be patient and not give up easily.

How difficult is the BS in Fisheries and Aquatic Resources program?

BS in Fisheries and Aquatic Resources is a fairly difficult program. You will take a variety of science, mathematics and professional fisheries subjects. Students who do not have an interest in science will find the course difficult.

The BS-FAR program is taught through alternating lectures and laboratory/practicum exercises, however, often laboratory exercises are longer than lectures and the requirements may be a bit heavy.

Students will also be exposed to field trips and OJT where they must work outside and observe fishing laboratories, fish pens and other aquatic resources facilities which may be located in places that have unfavorable weather conditions; this can be quite difficult to deal with for certain people. Finally, it may difficult to formulate a topic for the undergraduate thesis paper.

How long does it take to complete the BS-FAR program in the Philippines?

The BS in Fisheries and Aquatic Resources program takes four years to complete (Note: this may change due to the K-12 integration). The program may be completed in a shorter time in schools that follow the trimestral curriculum.

On the Job Training (OJT)

A student of the BS in Fisheries and Aquatic Resources program is required to attend an on the job training (OJT) in the fisheries industry whether in public or private agencies. During the OJT, students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and practice their skills in actual settings. The OJT program is done under the supervision of a Registered Fisheries Technologist which will evaluate the student periodically and submit the evaluation form to the assigned faculty member. The number of hours required for the OJT varies from one school to another. (See source)

Fisheries Technologist Licensure Examination

To become a Registered Fisheries Technologist in the Philippines, a graduate of BS in Fisheries and Aquatic Resources needs to pass the Fisheries Technologist Licensure Examination. The examination is conducted by the Board of Fisheries Technology under the supervision of the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC). The exam is conducted once a year.

You can view the passing rates of the Fisheries Technologist Licensure Exam here.

Career opportunities for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources graduates

  • Jobs for Registered Fisheries Technologists (board exam passers)

    • Fish Technician – direct and coordinate, through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities of workers engaged in fish hatchery production for corporations, cooperatives, or other owners.
    • Aquaculture technicians – raise fish and marine plants for food and recreational purposes.
    • Fish farm manager – responsible for the breeding and rearing of fish for the wholesale or retail trade
    • Aquaculturist – propagate aquatic species for purposes of human food production, supplementing fished populations, augmenting imperiled populations, or public display in aquariums.
    • Fisheries officer – monitor, manage and protect farmed and wild fish stocks and the rivers, lakes and other habitats where they live; responsible for the conservation and protection of fisheries, whether freshwater or marine.
    • Fish Processing Supervisor – directly supervise and coordinate the activities of production and operating workers, such as inspectors, precision workers, machine setters and operators, assemblers, fabricators, and plant and system operators.
    • Fisheries Instructor – teaches fisheries at a college or university
    • Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Analyst – work closely with members of other business groups and stakeholders to identify and analyze issues relating to fisheries.
    • Fisheries extension worker – advise, instruct, and assist individuals and families engaged in fisheries and aquaculture, fish production-related processes, or home economics activities.
    • Fisheries Biologist – study fish and supervise efforts to conserve natural habitats. Some work on boats collecting samples and documenting statistics.
    • Staff of Bureau of Fisheries
    • Aquatic resource specialist – study animals and plants living in the water and to record how the environmental conditions like salinity, temperature, light, acid, oxygen content and other environment related factors affect them.
    • Endangered species coordinator – perform research to promote understanding of factors driving species declines, manage processes driving such declines, or produce captive-bred individuals to augment imperiled populations
    • Fisheries manager – work with fish and wildlife populations, habitat, and humans to meet goals and objectives set by stakeholders and society at large regarding fish and wildlife resources.
    • Fisheries and wildlife scientists – perform research in support of fisheries and wildlife management, often by expanding our knowledge of individual physiology or ecology, population ecology or genetics, or landscape ecology.
    • Environmental educators – transmit knowledge and encourage intellectual growth on environmental and natural resources-related issues and fisheries or wildlife conservation.
    • Fish Biologist Technicians – help scientists in experiments dealing mainly with living organisms’ specifically different fish species and other aquatic and marine life.
    • Staff of Marine Sanctuary
  • Jobs for those who didn’t pass the board exam:

    There are companies who do not require applicants to be registered fisheries technologist, and will be satisfied with a college degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. However, it will depend on the company and the position. In any case, licensed fisheries technologists will always have an advantage when applying for a job.

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Reviews of BS in Fisheries and Aquatic Resources graduates:

K. D.
◈ Studied BS Fisheries
◈ At Mindanao State University - Gensan
◈ Graduated 2016

list bulletWhy did I choose Fisheries & Aquatic Resources: At first, fisheries is not my first choice, but because I needed to enter MSU, I pursue this course even it's not my first choice.

list bulletMy current job: Auditor for Aquaculture & fishery-base commodities

list bulletHow long did it take to find a job: Before graduation, I got my first job.

list bulletDo I recommend studying Fisheries & Aquatic Resources: BS Fisheries is not having a good track, in terms of societal perspective. Society sees fisheries as cheap and no future course. But they don't know, your success depends on you. It depends on how you handle yourself in real world, it depends how you face you interviewer during your job interview, and it does not depend on your course.

list bulletAdvice to people who are thinking of studying this course: Fisheries was not my first choice course. I underestimated this course, because I thought, I have no future in this course, but I was totally wrong. This course have given me a lot of opportunities. I was able to traveled in most places in the Philippines and had international travels because of this course. Today, I realized and then learnt that your future does not always depends on the course you are taking. Its on how will handle your self in the cruel real world.
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