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New seafood industry course sets sail

Reprinted from the University of Canterbury's "Chronicle" - 07/05/08


New Zealand's seafood industry is set to benefit directly from an exciting new course being jointly taught by Canterbury and Otago universities.

The 400-level interdisciplinary course on the management and science behind fisheries and aquaculture is being run in conjunction with the seafood industry.

Dr John Pirker (Biological Sciences, Canterbury University), who is co-ordinator of The Seafood Sector course together with Associate Professor Phil Bremer from Otago University's Food Science department, said the course had been designed for the industry with a great deal of industry input.

"This partnership between the seafood and university sector will assist them to explore avenues to add value to this primary produce to rejuvenate and economically transform the industry. We have asked the seafood sector what they want their employees to be knowledgeable about and they have guided us on the direction that the course will take," he said.

A wide range of topics will be discussed during the full-year course, including aspects of marketing, production, law, economics, food science and biology relating to fisheries and aquaculture. Students will also learn about the New Zealand Quota Management System, indigenous fisheries, global fisheries, and environmental issues including biosecurity and fisheries ecosystems.

"It starts with the act of fishing, and follows through the effects of fishing, processing, economics, policy and law of fishing and aquaculture, to the marketing, presentation and the consumer buying the fish the whole gamut of the seafood sector," Dr Pirker said.

Seminars for the course will utilise KAREN (Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network) technology to enable students to interact with their lecturers and classmates off-campus via the Access Grid videoconferencing facilities. The course also includes a field trip to Nelson mid-year.

UC Seafood Sector students (foreground from left) Alisa Conn, Stephen Kitto, Emma Sommerville and Darcy Webber discuss international and domestic aquaculture opportunities with Dr John Pirker and Mike Mandeno, Aquaculture New Zealand research manager, as well as Otago colleagues via the Access Grid.
UC Seafood Sector students (foreground from left) Alisa Conn, Stephen Kitto, Emma Sommerville and Darcy Webber discuss international and domestic aquaculture opportunities with Dr John Pirker and Mike Mandeno, Aquaculture New Zealand research manager, as well as Otago colleagues via the Access Grid.
Click here to view a larger version

"It's very exciting in the sense it's a new direction with it being a joint course between the two universities. I like to think of it as a mega-campus using the KAREN technology to give students at both Canterbury and Otago the chance to participate, drawing on the resources and expertise of both institutions and also bringing in industry leaders to teach the course.

"It is a valuable opportunity for these students to link in with major players in the industry who will hopefully provide employment for them at the end of their degree, as well as the potential for partnerships supporting postgraduate research".



 
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