College of the Redwoods


Cal Poly Humboldt

College Matters | CR prepares for booming aquaculture industry

This article was originally posted in the College Matters column of the Times-Standard.

Thursday, May 4, 2023 - 2:30pm

A study done by Vantage Market Research found that the worldwide fish farming industry, or aquaculture, was worth $289.6 billion in 2022, and is expected to grow to $421.2 billion by 2030. This means that the industry is predicted to grow by an average of 5.5% each year from 2023 to 2030. One reason for this growth is that there are fewer fish being caught in the wild, and people are becoming more aware of the benefits of aquaculture and its related products.

By now, you have probably heard of Nordic Aquafarms’ plans to build one of the largest land-based fish farms in the world on the Samoa Peninsula in Humboldt County. County Board of Supervisors member, Natalie Arroyo, reported on her recent visit to Denmark to tour the Nordic Aquafarm facility at the Board of Supervisors meeting on April 18. College of the Redwoods, recognizing the potential positive impact a venture this size could have on our regional economy, and recognizing also the growing ecological need for aquaculture, began working closely with Nordic Aquafarms early on to outline a degree and certificate that would provide a workforce trained to fill future jobs at their lab and elsewhere.

Last January, after an exhaustive nationwide search, we hired Jasmine Iniguez to lead this new endeavor as our first full-time faculty member in the new aquaculture program. She has already worked to create the curriculum and will also oversee the construction of the new lab on our Eureka campus.

We could not have asked for a more ideal faculty member to lead our aquaculture program and develop an academic pathway between CR and Cal Poly Humboldt. She has a master of science in aquaculture and aquatic sciences from Kentucky State University and a bachelor of science degree in fisheries biology from Cal Poly Humboldt. While at Cal Poly Humboldt, she was a hatchery technician, stream ecology research assistant, and interim hatchery manager and was mentored by fisheries biology professor Dr. Rafael Uribe. Their unique relationship will ensure that our CR aquaculture students have a clear and easily navigated channel to a four-year degree in the fisheries program at Humboldt.

In addition to her studies, Jasmine served as a research assistant at Kentucky State University where she performed data collection, analysis, and reporting on research in the lab, performed basic aquaculture husbandry tasks, maintained a variety of recirculating aquaculture systems designs and sizes, and assisted with the assembly and improvement of recirculating aquaculture systems. She also worked as an Aquaculture Technician with Blackwater Creek Koi Farms in Florida where she was involved in feeding, grading, sampling, harvesting ponds, sorting, and handling of fish stock.

The hiring of Jasmine demonstrates our continued commitment to contribute to the long-term economic well-being of our region and to strengthening our collaboration with Cal Poly Humboldt. Jasmine will launch our new program in the fall teaching introduction to aquaculture, introduction to fisheries, applied aquaculture in the lab, and salmonid aquaculture.

For more information about this program, please visit