Aquaculture National Certificate II (TESDA Course)

The Aquaculture NC II Qualification consists of competencies that a person must achieve to assist in aquaculture operations, prepare and maintain aquaculture facilities, operate fish nursery, perform fish or shrimp grow-out operations and grow seaweeds.

This Qualification is packaged from the competency map of the Agri-Fishery Sector.

A person who has achieved this qualification is competent to be:

  • Aquaculture Farm Caretaker
  • Aquaculture Farm Aide
  • Aquaculture Facilities Repair and Maintenance Worker
  • Fish Nursery Worker
  • Shrimp and Fish Grow Out Worker
  • Prawn Farm Cultivator


Level: NC II
Nominal Training Duration : 1,276 Hours

This course is designed to enhance the knowledge, desirable skills and attitudes of aquaculture NCll in accordance with industry standards. It covers core competencies in assisting in aquaculture operations, preparing and maintaining aquaculture facilities, operating fish nursery, performing fish or shrimp grow-out operations, and growing seaweeds.


Trainees or students wishing to enroll in this course should possess the following requirements.

  • Able to read and write
  • With good moral character
  • Able to communicate, both orally and in writing
  • Physically fit and mentally healthy as certified by a Public Health Officer


This units of competency comprising this qualification include the following:

AGR641301 Conduct pre-operations aquaculture activities
AGR641302 Prepare and maintain aquaculture facilities
AGR641303 Operate fish nursery
AGR641304 Perform fish or shrimp grow-out operations
AGR321201 Apply safety measures in farm operations
AGR321202 Use farm tools and equipment
AGR321203 Perform estimation and calculations
500311105 Participate in workplace communication
500311106 Work in a team environment
500311107 Practice career professionalism
500311108 Practice occupational health and safety procedures


Core competency units comprising this qualification in AQUACULTURE NC II

CONDUCT PRE-OPERATIONAL AQUACULTURE ACTIVITIES (AGR641301) – This unit covers the knowledge and skills required to assist in aquaculture operations including the preparation of tools and simple equipment and performance of simple routine operations.

  1. Prepare tools and simple equipment
    • Tools and equipment are checked and cleaned
    • Harvesting tools are checked for damage and simple repair is performed if necessary
    • Catch nets are inspected and worn-out nets, if possible, are repaired
    • Aquaculture facilities are inspected and minor repair, if possible, are performed
  2. Change water of aquaculture facility
    • Volume of water to be changed is determined in accordance to organizational standard procedures
    • Appropriate method of water exchange is selected in accordance to organizational standards
    • Water exchange is carried-out in accordance with supervisor instructions and standard procedures
  3. Monitor and collect mortalities
    • Normal mortality is determined and differentiated from initial disease outbreak
    • Mortalities are counted and documented daily in accordance to organizational standard procedures
    • Mortalities are collected and placed in appropriate freezer for post mortem analysis
  4. Prepare aquaculture facilities
    • Pond preparation is conducted in accordance to organizational standard procedures
    • Net cages and frames are brushed and repaired if possible
    • Tanks are cleaned and disinfected following standard procedures
  5. Secure facilities
    • Facilities are checked for fish predators and trespassers
    • Fish predators and trespassers are prevented to enter the aquaculture facilities
    • Preventive structures are installed during inclement weather following standard procedures
    • Tools and equipment are properly stored

PREPARE AND MAINTAIN AQUACULTURE FACILITIES (AGR641302) – This unit covers the knowledge and skills required to prepare and maintain aquaculture facilities for grow-out operations. Aquaculture facilities include the pond, tanks, pens and cages.

  1. Evaluate site
    • Pond
      • Site is determined for suitability for a specific aquaculture project based on project standard
      • Soil is sampled using an Eckman Dredge and analyzed for soil type to ascertain water retention capacity such as clay: loam ratio
      • Water resource is determined for volume adequacy using flow rate meter or by volume calibration technique.
      • Water quality for suitability is assessed for common physico-chemical parameters based on The Standard Methods in the Analysis of Water and Wastewater.
      • Topography is measured using a transit to establish the zero datum, level for water supply and drainage system,
    • Pens and Cages
      • Water is analyzed for water current speed using water current meter
      • Natural food is determined by plankton sampling and microscopic examination to establish the feeding requirement
      • Transparency is measured using a Secchi disc to determine the suitable species to culture.
      • Substrate is determined by using the Eckman Dredge
      • Tide level of the area is read to establish type of material and depth of facilities
    • Tank
      • Land area size and project budget is determined to suite the size, shape and materials to be used.
      • Water is sampled/analyzed using water quality test instruments
      • Water adequacy is determined by water flow rate translated to liters per minute (lpm).
  2. Draw the lay-out plan
    • Pond
      • Area and depth of pond is in conformity with project requirement and species to be cultured
      • The number and size of compartments is determined based on the available area of the land
      • Dikes crown and base is confirmed based on the tide level, typhoon and flooding history of the area
      • The materials to be used are determined based on production target and capitalization
      • Markers,/strings are placed as guide to the layout
      • Number of water pumps and well/water resource to be used and its location is determined
      • Other farm facilities are planned and laidout
    • Tanks
      • Area and depth of Tank should conform with available site selected and species to be cultured
      • The number and size of compartments is determined based on the area of the land
      • The materials to be used are determined based on production target and capitalization
      • Markers,/strings are placed as guide to the layout
      • Determine number of water pumps and well/water resource to be used and location
      • Other farm facilities are planned and laid-out
    • Pens
      • Area and depth of facilities should conform with available site selected
      • Materials for frame and type of net to be used are determined based on the site selected and species to be cultured
      • Materials are source for availability in the area and cost is determined
      • Other farm facilities are planned and laid-out
    • Cages
      • Area and depth of facilities should conform with project requirement and species to be cultured Materials for frame and type to be used are determined based on the site selected
      • Mesh size of net is determined based on available fingerling size in the area and species of fish
      • Materials are source for availability in the area and cost is determined
      • Other farm facilities are laid-out
  3. Mobile resources and carry-out installation of facilities
    • Ponds
      • Construction resources (materials and manpower) for ponds are prepared
      • Major and other support farm facilities are installed
      • Equipment is positioned according to enterprise requirement
    • Tanks
      • Construction resources (materials and manpower) are prepared adequately
      • Lay-out of facilities are installed
      • Life support system is appropriately installed
      • Equipment is appropriately positioned
    • Pens
      • Construction resources are prepared including materials and manpower
      • Posts are positioned appropriately
      • Netting materials and attach floats and sinkers are fabricated
      • Net are inspected for any damage
      • Set-up Net are st up to fit the frame
      • Bottom of net is placed in proper place
    • Cages
      • Construction resources including materials and manpower are prepared
      • Posts are positioned according to enterprise requirements
      • netting materials are fabricated and attached to floats and sinkers
      • Net are inspected for damage
      • Net are set-up to fit the frame
      • Bottom of net is checked if it is in proper place
      • Mooring system is checked according to industry requirements

OPERATE FISH NURSERY (AGR641303) – This unit covers the knowledge and skills required to prepare and operate fish nursery in ponds.

  1. Prepare nursery ponds
    • Dry pond until cracking stage
    • Repaired & plowed the soil and dried again
    • Selected lime to be used and computed for amount based on soil pH
    • Predator control is selected, amount computed and applied
    • Selected fertilizer and computed amount of application
    • Natural food is allowed to bloom
    • Aerators/agitators are set-up
  2. Stock fish in nursery pond
    • Water quality parameters i.e. D.O., Transparency, Nitrates, Ammonia and Temperature are determined prior to stocking of fry
    • Determined amount of fry to be stocked
    • Assessed fry quality
    • Care was observed in handling, transporting and stocking of fishes
  3. Perform feeding operations
    • Feeds are sourced, processed and stored properly
    • Formulated feed is sampled and analyzed for feed ration
    • Daily feed ration is computed
  4. Monitor good water quality
    • Water quality is maintained
    • Water is changed regularly
    • Sustained the growth of natural food
  5. Perform common disease monitoring and implement treatment
    • Disease is periodically observed and monitored
    • Prevention and safeguard of disease and parasite occurrence
    • Diseased or moribund fish is sampled and brought to the laboratory for diagnosis based on symptoms
    • Appropriate treatment is determined
  6. Harvest and post harvest handling
    • Timely scheduled harvest
    • Prepare supplies and materials required in the harvest operation
    • Observe proper capture and handling procedure during harvest so as to maintain good quality fish fingerlings
    • Initiated proper conditioning, grading, counting, packing and live fish handling/transport

PERFORM FISH OR SHRIMP GROW-OUT OPERATIONS (AGR641304) – This unit covers the knowledge and skills required to perform fish or crustacean grow-out operations like the preparation of grow-out facilities, stocking, undertake grow-out farming protocols and harvesting.

  1. Prepare grow-out facilities
    • Ponds
      • Pond is dried
      • Eliminated predators by applying predator control
      • Lime is applied to elevate soil pH
      • Fertilizer is applied
    • Pens and Cages
      • Frames are installed or set-up
      • Net Mesh are determined and fabricated into cages and installed to the cage frame
    • Tanks
      • Tanks are cleaned, dried and disinfected
  2. Stocking of fingerlings
    • Fish/crustacean fingerlings are acclimatized for pH, temperature and salinity
    • Fingerling quality is assessed
    • Fingerlings are released as schedule or at appropriate time of the day
    • Maintained growth of natural food
  3. Stock sampling
    • Procedures in stock sampling
    • Stock samples are weighed for ABW determination and counting for survival estimates
    • Stock sampling are undertaken regularly
  4. Perform feeding operations
    • Feeds are selected based on quality
    • Feeds are sampled and analyzed periodically
    • Daily feed ration is computed and feed given are recorded
  5. Maintain good water quality
    • Water quality is monitored using appropriate measuring instruments according to the Standard Methods In The Analysis Of Water And Wastewater
    • Optimum water quality is maintained by water exchange and bio-manipulation
    • Amount of water changed was based on water quality
  6. Perform common disease diagnosis and treatment
    • Disease is observed and monitored through physical appearance and behavioral patterns
    • Infected fish is sampled and diagnosed
    • Treatment is identified and implemented
    • Prevention/safeguard against occurrences of viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic diseases
  7. Harvest stocks & Post harvest handling
    • Pond and cages are seined
    • Cages are lifted
    • Harvested fishes are packed and transported


APPLY SAFETY MEASURES IN FARM OPERATIONS (AGR321201) – This unit covers the knowledge, skills and  attitudes required to perform safety measures effectively and efficiently. It includes identifying areas, tools, materials, time and place in performing safety measures..

  1. Determine areas of concern for safety measures
    • Work tasks are identified in line with farm operations
    • Place for safety measures are determined in line with farm operations
    • Time for safety measures are determined in line with farm operations
    • Appropriate tools, materials and outfits are prepared in line with job requirements
  2. Apply appropriate safety measures
    • Tools and materials are used according to specifications and procedures
    • Outfits are worn according to farm requirements
    • Effectivity/shelf life/expiration of materials are strictly observed
    • Emergency procedures are known and followed to ensure a safework requirement
    • Hazards in the workplace are identified and reported in line with farm guidelines
  3. Safekeep/dispose of tools, materials and outfit
    • Used tools and outfit are cleaned after use and stored in designated areas
    • Unused materials are properly labeled and stored according to manufacturers recommendation and farm requirements
    • Waste materials are disposed according to manufacturers, government and farm requirements

USE FARM TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT (AGR321202) – This unit covers the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to use farm tools and equipment. It includes selection, operation and preventive maintenance of farm tools and equipment.

  1. Select and use farm tools
    • Identified appropriate farm tools according to requirement/use
    • Farm tools are checked for faults and defective tools reported in accordance with farm procedures
    • Appropriate tools and equipment are safely used according to job requirements and manufacturers conditions
  2. Select and operate farm equipment
    • Identify appropriate farm equipment
    • Instructional manual of the farm tools and equipment are carefully read prior to operation
    • Pre-operation check-up is conducted in line with manufacturers manual
    • Faults in farm equipment are identified and reported in line with farm procedures
    • Farm equipment used according to its function
    • Followed safety procedures
  3. Perform preventive maintenance
    • Tools and equipment are cleaned immediately after use in line with farm procedures
    • Routine check-up and maintenance are performed
    • Tools and equipment are stored in designated areas in line with farm procedures

PERFORM ESTIMATION AND BASIC CALCULATION (AGR321203) – This unit covers the knowledge, skills and attitudes
required to perform basic workplace calculations

  1. Perform estimation
    • Job requirements are identified from written or oral communications
    • Quantities of materials and resources required to complete a work task are estimated
    • The time needed to complete a work activity is estimated
    • Accurate estimate for work completion are made
    • Estimate of materials and resources are reported to appropriate person
  2. Perform basic workplace calculation
    • Calculations to be made are identified according to job requirements
    • Correct method of calculation identified
    • System and units of measurement to be followed are ascertained
    • Calculation needed to complete work tasks are performed using the four basic process of addition, division, multiplication and subtraction
    • Calculate whole fraction, percentage and mixed when are used to complete the instructions
    • Number computed in self checked and completed for alignment


PARTICIPATE IN WORKPLACE COMMUNICATION (500311105) – This unit covers the knowledge, skills and attitudes
required to gather, interpret and convey information in response to workplace requirements..

  1. Obtain and convey workplace information.
  2. Participate in workplace meetings and discussions
  3. Complete relevant work related documents.

WORK IN TEAM ENVIRONMENT (500311106) – This unit covers the skills, knowledge and attitudes to identify role and responsibility as a member of a team..

  1. Describe team role and scope
  2. Identify own role and responsibility within team
  3. Work as a team member

PRACTICE CAREER PROFESSIONALISM (500311107) – This unit covers the knowledge, skills and attitudes in promoting career growth and advancement.

  1. Integrate personal objectives with organizational goals.
  2. Set and meet work priorities.
  3. Maintain professional growth and development.

PRACTICE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY PROCEDURES (500311108) – This unit covers the outcomes  required to comply with regulatory and organizational requirements for occupational health and safety.

  1. Identify hazards and risks
  2. Evaluate hazard and risks
  3. Control hazards and risks
  4. Maintain occupational health and safety awareness


  • Acclimation – refers to adjusting the prevailing water condition of fish in an environment from lower to higher temperature to optimal temperature, from tower or higher salinity to optimal salinity (like from freshwater to salt water environment), etc.
  • Average Body Weight – is the total weight of fish over the number of Fish
  • AD-Libitum – refers to the mode of providing unlimited fish feeds to fish
  • AFMA – Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act
  • Aquarium Fish or Ornamental fish – Any fish that can be placed in confinement and with aesthetic value
  • Artemia – live food commonly used for fish larvae
  • BFAR – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
  • BOD – Biological Oxygen Demand
  • Brackish Water – refers to the mixture of freshwater and sea water naturally occurring in estuaries.
  • Brachionus – a rotifer used as larval feed for marine & freshwater fish larvae
  • Breeder – Sexually mature fish that are used for breeding
  • Chlorella – A unicellular green algae cultured to serve as food of the zooplankton, rotifers and fry.
  • Conditioning of Breeders – a method wherein the breeders are pampered by providing them nutritious feeds and optimum water conditions to effect the maturity of the fish
  • D.O. (Dissolved Oxygen) – refers to a quantity of oxygen mixed with water in the operation of a paddle wheel or the action of air current. The unit of the D.O. is commonly expressed in part per million (ppm).
  • FCR – Food Conversion Ratio is the Total amount of Feeds consumed over the Net Weight of Fish.
  • Egg Fertilization – the process of mixing the fish eggs with fish milt either by natural or artificial method.
  • Fish Nursery – refers to smaller unit areas of confinement wherein small fish larvae or fish fry are reared. It may either be in ponds, cages, tanks, etc
  • Fish Pond – an aquaculture facility with an earthen bottom surrounded by dikes, with water inlets and drain outlets.
  • Fish Cage – an aquaculture facility made of frames, net enclosures, mooring rope,  anchors or poles installed in open waters like lakes, dams, rivers and sea-water coves, lagoons, impoundments etc.
  • Fish Pen – aquaculture facility in inland areas such as lakes, rivers, darns spring and deep wells devoid of salinity
  • Fry – newly hatched fish. Which are transparent, with big, head and does not in any way resemble the adult fish
  • Grow out – refers to bigger unit areas of confinement where fingerlings are stocked and grown to marketable size. It may either be in ponds, cages and fish pens.
  • Hapa Net – an enclosure made of fine mesh net for larvae/fry
  • Hatchery Operation – refers to a large production of larvae/fry
  • Hormones – are agents, (synthetically or naturally produced) used to fasten growth and induce ovulation and to effect sex reversal in fish.
  • Incubator – are hatching facilities where fertilized eggs are hatched.
  • Mature Breeders – fishes that are gravid (female) or with milt (male)
  • Induce Spawning – an artificial propagation method through hormone injection to hasten the maturity of the eggs and trigger spawning
  • Larvae – refers to newly hatched fish eggs
  • Liming – application of agricultural lime in ponds to elevate soil pH of acidic ponds
  • Modular Culture Technique – the process of culturing fish in grow-out units in short culture period. This requires one nursery unit in for every grow-out culture unit, thus making 4 to 5 harvests per year in one grow-out unit depending on the market size of fish
  • OHS – Operating Health Standard
  • Optimum – refers to the best environmental condition provided to the fish to effect maximum production
  • Pathogenic Bacteria – disease causing bacteria
  • pH Meter – instrument used to measure the hydrogen ions concentration of soil or water
  • Phytoplankton – unicellular microscopic algae suspended in water
  • Sea-Water – refers to waters with at east 32 ppt salinity
  • Satiation feeding – refers to the feed consumption of fish wherein it indicates whether fish is fully filled-up to the gut.
  • Seine Net – a type of fishing gear made up of nets, ropes, floats and sinkers used to harvest fish.
  • Spawner – mature female fish or shrimp used for breeding.
  • Stress – a negative environmental condition caused by biological, physical or chemical factors affecting the health, growth and well being of fish
  • Stripping – an artificial method by gently pressing the belly of male and female brood fish to release eggs and milt
  • Tanks – a culture system that is made up of cement, glass and plastic of different shapes
  • Viable – a state or condition where an undertaking or venture in aquaculture results to good performance as to technical and economic profitability of a project
  • Water Quality – refers to the over-all physical, chemical and biological parameters of the water
  • Zooplankton – animal base food protein

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