6 October 2014
News Release – for immediate release
New Aquaculture Qualifications Launched
New Aquaculture degree and postgraduate qualifications at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) will help
support industry achieve its targets of $1 billion in sales by 2025, says NMIT Chief Executive Tony Gray.
NMIT is launching two new qualifications in aquaculture in 2015 and now provides a full suite of aquaculture training to
support the New Zealand aquaculture industry –from secondary school pathways through to postgraduate level.
In addition to its successful Diploma in Aquaculture, in 2015, NMIT will offer two new higher level aquaculture
qualifications– a vocationally-focussed Bachelor of Aquaculture and Marine Conservation and a Postgraduate Diploma in
Sustainable Aquaculture; both are unique in New Zealand. The institute has also developed a Trades Academy course in
Maritime and Aquaculture, where students from local secondary schools study at NMIT one day a week while still at
school. Another initiative is the ‘Salmon in Schools’ project, where NMIT aquaculture students mentor secondary school
classes to hatch and raise salmon.
Tony Gray says there has been a “huge amount” of industry consultation in developing the new programmes, through
industry surveys, independent research and the input of NMIT’s advisory committee. “One of the key recommendations from
industry was that the programmes needed to be available part-time and online for those already in employment – which we
have listened to.”
The new programmes are expected to attract students from around New Zealand and overseas. NMIT Aquaculture Programme
Coordinator Dr Mark Burdass says the new qualifications are aimed at filling a need for qualified staff in what is a
relatively new industry for New Zealand.
“Many senior staff in the aquaculture industry in New Zealand currently come from overseas – there’s not much home-grown
talent. We see a real opportunity to start developing that core and building a greater level of expertise and
professionalism in the local industry.”
The Cawthron Institute is a key partner in the delivery of the new programmes. Cawthron Institute Chief Executive
Professor Charles Eason says “The predicted growth in aquaculture research and development and production that is
happening at the Glen Aquaculture Park heralds opportunities for students locally and nationally - with benefits for
industry from an increasingly skilled workforce. This course, and growth in expertise within the aquaculture industry,
should help with regional economic development in the Top of the South and nationally.”
New Zealand King Salmon Chief Executive Grant Rosewarne says the company is delighted with NMIT’s development of both a
degree and postgraduate qualification. “It grows top industry talent in the region, and builds further strength and
depth to the aquaculture industry here. By world standards, we're small but smart, and these new qualifications just add
to that intellectual capital.”
Aquaculture New Zealand Chief Executive Gary Hooper says aquaculture in New Zealand has grown from small beginnings to
become a significant primary industry.
“The aquaculture sector currently generates over $400 million in revenue and employs over 3,000 Kiwis in green jobs. We
have a target of reaching $1 billion in sales by 2025 and to do that, we know that the industry needs to invest in
training and education to attract and retain a skilled workforce. We are very supportive of NMIT’s move to develop these
new aquaculture-relevant qualifications which will help meet industry needs.”
Aquaculture education at NMIT is delivered in state of the art facilities at NMIT’s Nelson Campus and at the Cawthron
Institute’s facilities at the Glen Aquaculture Park.