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Aquaculture programme expands for 2012

Press Release – Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology has expanded its Aquaculture Programme on the back of growing confidence in the aquaculture industry in the Top of the South.
News Release
Aquaculture programme expands for 2012

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology has expanded its Aquaculture Programme on the back of growing confidence in the aquaculture industry in the Top of the South.

NMIT has this year employed a new tutor and also expanded its facilities at Cawthron Institute’s Aquaculture Park at Glenduan to cater for demand for its aquaculture programmes.

NMIT Diploma of Aquaculture programme coordinator Mark Burdass says NMIT is thrilled to welcome marine scientist Charmaine Gallagher as a new Diploma and Certificate in Aquaculture tutor.

“Charmaine brings extensive fisheries’ expertise and boundless enthusiasm to this newly created position. She is hugely experienced in aquaculture research, development and fisheries’ management and will be a great asset to NMIT and our aquaculture programme.”

Originally from San Diego California, Dr Gallagher has a PhD from Oregan State University and more than 25 years’ international experience in the marine and aquaculture sector. She says she brings “enthusiasm, fisheries’ and shellfish expertise – and a Californian accent,” to the role.

“My passion has always been working with invertebrate species – abalone or paua, shrimp, black lipped pearl oysters and giant clams. Including growing, seeding and marketing giant clams,” she says.

“I came to New Zealand because it is the world’s experiment in marine fisheries’ management and the whole world is watching. There are huge opportunities and it is very exciting.”

Dr Burdass says NMIT also recently expanded its operations at Cawthron Institutes’ Aquaculture Park to include a marine hatchery for fish and shellfish, a set of marine on-growing tank systems and a teaching laboratory.

“The additional facilities will enhance the learning environment and enable students to get experience in fish and shellfish reproduction and on-growing.”

Around 70 percent of the country’s aquaculture is based in the Nelson, Tasman Marlborough region. More than 2,500 people are employed in the sector across the Top of the South. NMIT’s aquaculture programmes started last year to meet the needs of the region’s burgeoning aquaculture sector.

Dr Burdass says NMIT, which offers the country’s only Diploma in Aquaculture, is at the cutting edge of aquaculture training. It has been working closely with industry partners since the programme started to prepare and train students for jobs in the aquaculture sector, which is worth around $320 million annually to the New Zealand economy. The industry’s goal is to grow sales to $1 billion a year by 2025.

Dr Gallagher, who is also a qualified windsurfing, sailing and scuba diving instructor, says she is enjoying “riding the wave” of optimism and opportunity in aquaculture, and is looking forward to sharing her enthusiasm for the industry with her students.

“I joined NMIT because I wanted to be at the cutting edge of developments in the industry and share my passion and knowledge with the next generation of marine scientists. It’s exciting and I’m enjoying the responsibilities of my new role.”
Background on NMIT’s Diploma in Aquaculture (Fish farming and Fishery Management):
• Started in 2011 to meet the demands of the aquaculture and freshwater fishery management industries
• Graduates gain practical and theoretical aquaculture experience as well as business management skills
• Two years full-time or part-time equivalent
• Based at NMIT’s Nelson Campus and Cawthron Institutes’ Aquaculture Park at Glenduan
• Minimum of eight weeks’ industry placement
Background on Dr Charmaine Gallagher:
• Dr Gallagher came to New Zealand in 2003 to work as an analyst for the Ministry of Fisheries in Nelson, advising on fisheries and environmental management
• Between 2003 and 2007 she was part of the Ministry of Fisheries’ team developing environmental management measures to address bottom trawling, by-catch species and seabird interactions in this country
• Dr Gallagher has published numerous papers and reports on fisheries’ management worldwide, including one on industry management in the New Zealand quota management system – focusing on orange roughy
• In 2007 Dr Gallagher founded a scientific research company consulting to industry and government on integrated fisheries, aquaculture and bio-economic investigations

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