According to statistics from Statistics Austria, 3611 tons of salmonids, constituting a significant portion of the total 4920 tons of edible fish, were produced in Austrian aquaculture facilities in the year 2021. This reflects an 8,7% increase in total production compared to the previous year. The number of enterprises engaged in this sector also rose by 3,0% during the same period, totaling 542.
One reason for the consistently rising production and operational figures can likely be attributed, at least in part (but certainly not exclusively), to the education and training provided in the field of fisheries over the past years. There are numerous training opportunities available, particularly in the production of salmonids, such as those offered by the Institute for Aquatic Ecology and Fisheries Economics.
The annually well-attended Basic Course in Salmonid Aquaculture took place as usual in November. A total of 23 participants from (almost) all federal states visited the institute and the Kreuzstein Fish Farm for this purpose.
The basic course comprises 40 hours and is recognized as a qualification for subsidies from the European Maritime, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) for the period 2021-2027.
The general part of the course covers fishery-related content (water chemistry, fish anatomy, fish transport, stunning and killing, fish as food, veterinary law, etc.) and marketing/industry-specific topics (interest representation, funding programs, legal aspects, marketing, etc.).
The subject-specific part provides a comprehensive introduction to salmonid aquaculture (taxonomy/ecology, operational forms, spawning, insemination, hatching, fry rearing, fingerling and edible fish production, killing/marketing). Emphasis is also placed on hygiene, fish health, and facility planning. Practical lessons are conducted at the Kreuzstein Fish Farm. The course concludes with a specialized excursion to a salmonid aquaculture facility.
Graduates should be informed about the fundamental requirements and conditions of salmonid aquaculture. They should be equipped to successfully operate a small-scale salmonid aquaculture operation, particularly as a secondary occupation.