Boys' College to join salmon project

Marlborough Boys' College students will soon have their first taste of being salmon farmers.

The Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology has selected the college to be the first school in Marlborough to participate in their salmon rearing project.

The project has been running for three years in schools in Nelson and Tasman and this year, Marlborough Boys' College has also come on board.

NMIT aquaculture programme co-ordinator Mark Burdass said the project was planned to be running at the college by the end of this week.

"Salmon eggs will be delivered to the school at the time the fish eggs develop eyes and are safe for transport. It is a biologically driven process so times may vary a little," he said.

The project supplies participating schools with tanks, filtration systems, water coolers and quality testing kits.

Each year during May or June the schools are given 50 salmon eggs which they are responsible for hatching and rearing until around November. The salmon are then released into fishing ponds in Tasman.

Students from NMIT's aquaculture diploma course would act as mentors to the schools and oversee the rearing.

The project aims to give a ‘real-world' learning opportunity for students to study aquaculture.

"Being responsible for overseeing a group of people who generally haven't had much experience managing fish is a great way for our students to develop their problem-solving abilities and communication skills. They will be able to apply what they learn from working on the project to any other marine fish-rearing process," Burdass said.

Marlborough Boys' College marine science course teacher Mark Anderson said the school was excited to be part of the course and hoped the systems would be installed soon.

Schools use the project for different parts of the teaching curriculum. Some use it in biology classes, others for teaching environmental studies or mathematics. They hoped the project would help raise the profile of the aquaculture industry as a possible career path for students.

The Marlborough Express