Dr Mark Burdass, Aquaculture Programme Co-ordinator, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology We have three aquaculture programs available, a two year diploma, a three year bachelor’s degree, and a post graduate qualification which is one year. I think we are the only significant aquaculture training organisation offering that range of levels in New Zealand. We have heavy engagement within the industry, in both supporting the program and our graduates. We work collaboratively with the industry here in Nelson in terms of our training programs. We have joint project work with the Cawthron Institute, SPAT NZ, New Zealand King Salmon, and also feed producers such as Skretting and Ridley as well. All of the programs require the students to gain some level of work experience. Diplomas get four periods of work experience, the degree gets four periods of work experience plus an internship/ research dissertation, and post graduate students get a four to five month block of straight research dissertation. NMIT are a gold sponsor here at the conference, my students are speaking and presenting posters here. This conference is great for us to liaise with the industry in a cohesive way, it is intense and allows us to catch up with a lot of people. It allows students to mix with the industry and meet potential employers. Over the six years I have been coming to this conference it has grown in size and scope, not only the amount of people attending but also what is being talked about. There is certainly a more dynamic attitude towards aquaculture, people have improved confidence in the industry. There are certainly challenges but there is a general measure of optimism which is good to see. We are gaining confidence as an industry that what we do is relevant and worthwhile, and that we should be making sure that everyone knows the good we do.
level certification tick with the audit requirements that are in place. What they did need was to have their existing environmental codes of practices to be bought into an over-arching framework, with requirements to self-report against KPIS and independent verification of the industry’s performance to ensure the programme has integrity.” Summarising she said, “We thought that the sweet spot of the whole of the New Zealand industry was to put something together that demonstrated and helped them achieve best practice. The resulting objectives aligned with the BAP and ASC.” The idea behind A+ is to get the entire industry up to a certain level, and then if they want to the jump up to either BAP or ASC that move will be easier. Ms Clarkson commented, “Interestingly we found that the real value that emerged when developing this program wasn’t the market focus, but the community focus. In New Zealand there is a really strong requirement from the public for the aquaculture industry to have social licence. There is a real need to demonstrate to the communities that we are being responsible. A+ is now more geared towards being open and transparent, and striving for continuous improvement.”
Sanford cocktail function
Without a doubt the social highlight of the two day show was the Sanford sponsored cocktail function. Discussed by returning visitors the moment the exhibition started on Wednesday, the cocktail function delivers four hours of mingling with colleagues over the fruits of the industry immaculately prepared kai moana (seafood) – king salmon, green lipped mussels, and pacific oysters. An excellent way to round out a successful event. It must be said that the enthusiasm and ideas of the people I met left me feeling optimistic that the future of New Zealand’s aquaculture is a bright one.
Asia Pacific Aquaculture
April 24-26 Taipei - Taiwan
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International Aquafeed - November 2017 | 51
Published on Nov 9, 2017