New Aquaculture Fish Farming Training Attracts Students
New Aquaculture Fish Farming Training Attracts National
and International Students
Applications for Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology’s first intake for the inaugural Diploma of Aquaculture (Fish Farming and Management) are reflecting the predicted boom in New Zealand’s aquaculture industry.
Already, 16 of the 20 places for next year’s Diploma have been filled, with applicants having to go through an interview before they’re accepted. Further applicants are to be interviewed in the coming weeks.
Head of the School of Technology, Primary Industries and Maritime Studies Jeff Wilson says he’s been pleasantly surprised by both the numbers applying and the quality of the applicants.
“We’ve got a wide range of students enrolled from school leavers, to mature applicants who are changing careers. The mix of people includes those who’ve already worked in the industry including processors and deck hands, to those who would like a complete career change such as one student who’s in the a concrete industry and another who is a mechanic.”
Jeff Wilson says the applicants are mostly from the top of the south, as well as Auckland, Wellington and there’s also a student coming from France.
“They’re really keen to train here, where aquaculture is so respected. And there were also a lot of the students who were impressed with the links the programme has with international aquaculture renowned organisations such as the Cawthron institute.”
Jeff Wilson says the common thread with the applicants is that they say they’ve always had a passion for fish and this type of industry.
“Some of them have it as their hobby – some of the students keep aquariums, or are keen anglers or divers. The passion is there and they’re keen to make this into a career.
He says the students have realised this industry has huge potential and they can see the massive growth likely to occur in the aquaculture industry.”
Jeff Wilson says many applicants also said they’d applied because of the practical nature of the diploma. “They really liked the ability to learn fish farming skills in a hands-on way, to complement the classroom knowledge.”
“This diploma is unique in what it offers. No-one else is teaching fish farming and management to this level in New Zealand, and that’s what the applicants are saying attracted them to the Diploma.
The Diploma has been designed by leading international aquaculture educationalist and consultant Dr Mark Burdass, who has accepted the job of running the programme. He arrives in Nelson to take up his new role in mid-December.