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Weird, wonderful science on show at Open Day

Weird, wonderful science on show at Open Day

People from around the Top of the South are once again invited to step into the weird and wonderful world of science, as Cawthron Institute opens the doors to its stunning Glenhaven Aquaculture Centre next month (Sunday 10 February).

Cawthron Institute, a world–recognised independent researcher, held its first open day at the Glen’s purpose built multi-million dollar research facility in 2011 – to an overwhelming public interest.

“Right now it’s an exciting time at the Glen, we’re moving to a whole new phase in shellfish breeding. We believe that we’ve made very substantial breakthroughs in breeding oysters and mussels that will significantly enable the growth of the aquaculture industry and help develop business for marine farmers. At the Glen, visitors will see the technology and facilities which enable the production of spat for shellfish farmers. It’s the equivalent of being able to supply land farmers with livestock” says Cawthron Institute Chief Executive, Professor Charles Eason.

The Cultured Shellfish Programme at Cawthron Institute is researching the resilience of Pacific oysters to the Ostreid herpes virus and research is being led by Cawthron Institute Senior Scientist Achim Janke.

“We have identified oyster families with a very high survival rate when exposed to the oyster herpes virus, which decimated stocks in 2010. Visitors to the Open Day will have the opportunity to learn about this research and talk to the scientists that are at the forefront of this programme,” says Achim.

Cawthron Institute has been contributing research and development expertise to the aquaculture sector from its Glenhaven base since 1991, opening the country’s first oyster hatchery there in June 2009, and a multi-million dollar extension in 2011. The Aquaculture Centre now provides a shared space for research, education and learning for Cawthron Institute scientists, the aquaculture industry and the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology.

Visitors will participate in guided tours of the laboratories and hatchery areas, where they’ll meet the scientists that are leading cutting edge research, and be offered the opportunity to ask questions about their work and how it relates to every-day life.

They will explore the startling scientific world of aquaculture, learn how to see inside a mussel shell and find out if scallops have eyes.

Last year the tours became full very quickly and due to this popularity the 2013 event will be for pre-booked guests only. Reservations will be made on a first come – first served basis.

Students interested in a future in aquaculture will not only be able to get a taste for working in the industry, there will also be an opportunity for students to talk with a tutor from the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology which runs a highly sought after Aquaculture Diploma Programme.

The Open Day will be held at the Cawthron Institute research facility at The Glen on Sunday February 10th with 45-60 minute guided tours departing every 10 minutes. Tour bookings are essential, (non-booked visitors will not be permitted on-site) please phone Cawthron Institute on 03 539 3217 or email Cawthron Institute Community Educator - jo.thompson@cawthron.org.nz to book a place.

ENDS

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