Queen Charlotte College Aquaculture Academy (QCCAA) was initiated during 2002 as a partnership between Queen Charlotte College and the New Zealand Marine Farming Association (NZMFA).
The mandate of the Academy is to advance the skill levels and understanding of students attending and, when possible, to carry out meaningful research on issues relating to the aquaculture industry.
Since the start of 2005, the Academy has offered Aquaculture courses at Year 11, 12 and 13. The Year 11 course, together with the Year 12 course, provide the opportunity for students to attain the Level 2 National Certificate in Aquaculture. In addition, students can obtain dive qualifications and boating qualifications from PADI and the NZ Coastguard Boating Education Service respectively.
The Year 13 course makes use of the skills and knowledge acquired by students during Year 11 and 12 to develop and maintain research projects in the laboratory and the field. A key component of all the courses is the engagement of students through hands-on learning.
Through the auspices of the Gateway programme, Queen Charlotte College students have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience whilst still attending the College. If students are successful in Aquaculture in Year 11, 12 and 13 they can gain the Level 3 National Certificate in Seafood (Aquaculture).
This is a qualification offered to workers employed in the local mussel and salmon farming industries. Students also gain valuable insights into the range of careers available to them from visiting speakers and field visits to aquaculture facilities throughout Nelson and Marlborough.
For students who wish to continue their education beyond Queen Charlotte College, several New Zealand Universities offer marine related degrees. Otago University, Victoria University Wellington, Auckland University and University of Canterbury all have undergraduate Science degrees that can include marine papers. Scholarships will be offered to suitable candidates who go on to university and enrol in a marine related degree course. NMIT Polytech offers Aquaculture diplomas as well as Boating and Skipper courses.
The most deserving Year 11 student each year receive the MFA Scholarship. In the past this has enabled students to experience Aquaculture ventures in South Australia, the United Kingdom and closer to home in New Zealand. NZ King Salmon also offers prizes to the top Year 12 students within the subject.
Students at the college have been involved in industry research programmes such as the selective breeding of mussels, biofouling investigations and feeding trials for King Salmon.
A selection of careers that could lead on from studying aquaculture at Queen Charlotte College include:
- Mussel harvesting
- Mussel processing
- Water quality testing
- Research scientist, e.g. with NIWA or Cawthron Institute or within the aquaculture industry
- Salmon cage maintenance
- Commercial diver
- Dive instructor
- Boat skipper
- Boat building
- Department of Conservation
- Paua farm contractor
- Rope manufacturer
- Aluminium or steel fabricator
- Planning Officer within District and Regional Councils
For any enquiries please contact the Careers Co-ordinator, Mrs Megan Bruce at firstname.lastname@example.org
Queen Charlotte College Aquaculture Academy acknowledges the generous support provided by a diverse group of companies, trusts and individuals:
FACILITATING THE SETTING UP OF THE ACADEMY
NZ Marine Farming Association – annual awards
NZ King Salmon – annual scholarship
INDUSTRY SHARE FARMERS - PROVIDES SHARE OF PROFITS TO ENABLE RUNNING OF THE ACADEMY.
Schwass Family Trust – crop proceeds & use of line space
Port Mussel Company – seeding, floating & harvesting crop
Supply and support of salmon in wetlab and provides prizes at the end of the year for deserving students.
INDUSTRY SUPPLY COMPANIES - ASSIST WITH FARMING
Southshore Marine – backbones, warps etc
Copac International – floats
Pelorus Moulders – floats
Gills Concrete – anchor blocks
Port Mussel Company – seeding, floating and harvesting of crop and workplace training
BARGE CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION
Rapidcat Boat Builders – assist with barge construction
Hydralift Cranes – lift barge onto transporter
Picton Earthworks – transport barge from Blenheim to Picton
Gregory Engineering – supply motor frame for barge
McManaway Marine – slipping & assist with anti-foul lay-up
Skippers – providing time to skipper the Barge
Skipper in Charge – Mr Ken Gullery
COMPANIES & ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE MADE THEIR FACILITIES AVAILABLE FOR ACADEMY TRIPS
Burkhart Fisheries Limited
Aotearoa Seafoods Limited
Ormond Aquaculture Limited
Sanfords South Island, Havelock
Marlborough Mussel Company
Port Mussel Company
OTHER VALUED CONTRIBUTIONS
The Academy has had many successes and achievements in its short history. Chief among them has been the garnering and retention of support from many parties associated with the aquaculture industry. That generous support has been in the form of training of staff, provision of equipment and services at zero or reduced cost, workplace learning for students, and financial security to permit the design, construction and equipping of the Academy’s barge.
Student achievements include the following:
- Students gaining confidence in public speaking, such as at a Regional Development Conference in Timaru and at the combined AGM’s of the New Zealand Marine Farming Association, New Zealand Mussel Industry Council and Marlborough Shellfish Quality Programme.
- In 2004 we had our first Academy student achieve a Level 2 National Certificate in Aquaculture and many students are now able to achieve and pass the Level 3 National Certificate.
- Students participating in and realising the importance of the NZMFA’s “Adopt a Beach” clean-up scheme. This also included the underwater clean-up of seabed offshore from Bob’s Bay, Picton.
- Work placements at the Cawthron Institute, NIWA, Sanfords and Marlborough Mussels.
- Study of a potential marine biohazard by a year 8 student, inspired by the activities of the Academy’s students, which led to first prize in the DOC/YHA Conservation Awards.
- Rope companies approaching the Academy to trial their products.
- Students from all three classes being involved in Mussel Family Research, under the guidance of Cawthron Institute personnel.
- The development of a re-circulating water system and genetic analysis equipment from New Zealand King Salmon, in our purpose built wet-lab.
- A number of students have moved into work in the industry at the end of their schooling.
- We have a number of past students who have completed NMIT Dip in Aquaculture
- Other students have gone on to complete more advanced dive and boating qualifications
- MFA scholarship continues to expose top students to a variety of Aquaculture endeavors both in NZ and Australia.