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NMIT Salmon Rearing Project in Schools

NMIT Salmon Rearing Project in Schools

There’s something fishy about a lot of schools in the Top of the South.

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT)’s innovative Salmon Rearing Project which has been running for the past three years will see three primary/intermediate schools and six secondary schools throughout Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough supplied with tanks, filtration systems, water coolers and water quality testing kits this year.

Each year around May/June, the participating schools are given 50 salmon eggs which they are responsible for hatching and rearing until October/November when the salmon are released into the Waimea River Park Fishing ponds. Students from NMIT’s Diploma in Aquaculture programme act as mentors to the schools and oversee the fish rearing.

Dr Mark Burdass, NMIT’s Aquaculture Programme Coordinator says the project provides a real-world learning opportunity for students studying aquaculture.

“Being responsible for overseeing a group of people who generally haven’t had much experience managing fish provides a great way for our students to develop their problem-solving abilities and communication skills. They are able to apply what they learn from working on this project to any other marine fish-rearing process.”

Schools integrate the project into their teaching curriculum in many different ways – some use it in biology classes, others for teaching environmental studies or mathematics. NMIT does not dictate how the fish can be used but supplies a wide range of teaching and learning materials offering different ideas.

The project is also helping to raise the profile of the Aquaculture industry as a possible career path for students. This year, four students who were involved with the salmon rearing project in schools have gone onto enrol on the Diploma in Aquaculture.

NMIT offers the country’s only Diploma in Aquaculture which was launched in 2011 to meet the needs of the country’s burgeoning aquaculture sector - 70 percent of which is based in the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough region. More than 2,500 people are employed in the sector across the Top of the South.


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