management services to new and existing aquaculture projects worldwide. Specialized knowledge
is often required: Project teams might have to
contend with challenges such as knowing how to
oxygenate the water, prevent disease, control predators, protect against typhoons and hurricanes (if
the facility is offshore or near-shore), and develop
the infrastructure needed for transportation and
fish food storage.
“The human resource aspects are a real chal-
lenge because qualified people are in short supply,”
he says. “Most people are very busy because of the
industry’s growth. It’s frequently a challenge to
keep the best people on your particular project due
to the sheer number of projects being developed
The first phase of Mr. Frese’s US$80 million
shrimp farm project in a town near Araya, Ven-
ezuela is to develop 122 ponds spread over more
than 190 hectares (469.5 acres). The facility will
Wild fish are getting harder to find. Ninety percent
of the ocean’s fish stocks are now fully fished or
overfished, and continuing human population
growth will only exacerbate the problem. But organizations see a solution to sate the world’s seafood
appetite: ramp up projects in aquaculture, the
world’s fastest-growing food-producing sector.
Aquaculture, also known as fish farming, already
provides about half of all fish consumed globally.
Production has tripled in the last 20 years, reaching an output now of more than 70 million tons
annually, according to the United Nations Food
and Agriculture Organization. Roughly 90 percent
of these fish farms are in Asia, National Geographic
reports, but the highest growth rates for new projects are in Africa and South and Central America.
The US$160 billion industry is expected to be the
source of most people’s fish by 2021.
That fast growth has created a talent gap. Practitioners with the proper combination of technical aquaculture experience, business acumen and
advanced project management skills are in short
supply, says Tom Frese, president of AquaSol Inc.
in Miami, Florida, USA, which provides project
Workers feed caged barramundi fish
in Vietnam’s Van Phong Bay. Below,
an aquaculture project site in New
tripled in the
last 20 years,
output now of