NMIT employs New Zealand's leading aquaculture education experts. Staff are well qualified and work closely with industry to ensure that programmes are aligned with industry needs.
The Diploma in Aquaculture (Fish Farming and Fishery Management) will prepare you to work in the aquaculture industry as well as creating a pathway towards management, and includes a combination of study and work-based training. You’ll gain knowledge and skills in aquaculture systems, how they work, and how to best manage them. You will also become familiar with basic aquatic species biology, aquatic ecology, and aquaculture business management.
All of NMIT's Primary Industries programmes have a strong focus on “hands on” careers, and provide training for some of the region’s key industry sectors. If you're interested in aquaculture, you might also be interested in the following programmes:
Select a programme from below and then click on 'Apply Now'.
Programmes and Courses
Dr. Charmaine Gallagher, Aquaculture Tutor
Marine scientist Charmaine Gallagher brings extensive fisheries expertise, a passion for the sea and boundless enthusiasm to her role as NMIT’s newest aquaculture tutor.
Originally from San Diego California, Charmaine has a PhD in Fisheries and Wildlife from Oregon State University and more than 25 years’ experience in aquaculture research, development and fisheries management. She specialises in invertebrate species including abalone or paua, shrimp, black-lipped pearl oysters and giant clams.
Charmaine moved to New Zealand with her husband and two sons in 2003 to work as a fishery analyst for the Ministry of Fisheries in Nelson. She has published numerous papers on fisheries management worldwide including on New Zealand’s quota management system - focusing on orange roughy.
In 2007, she founded her own company consulting to industry and government on integrated fisheries, aquaculture and bio-economic investigations.
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.
Dr. Mark Burdass, Aquaculture Programme Coordinator and Tutor
PhD - Fish Biology
Mark has 28 years of teaching experience in aquaculture from vocational to Masters Degree level in the United Kingdom. He was employed by Sparsholt College which is a world renowned aquaculture training institution.
He has developed a wide range of aquaculture programmes worldwide which crucially link developing the practical skills necessary to work in aquaculture with the theory and academic requirements. He is a member of the European and World Aquaculture Society and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
“I have had a lifelong passion for the aquatic environment and teaching enables me to share my enthusiasm and experience. I get a great buzz out of enthusing my students about aquatic life and aquaculture; it is very rewarding to see them succeed. Aquaculture is such an important industry for New Zealand in securing its future food security and seafood is one of the healthiest foods you can eat,” he says.
Mark has worked for the last four years with NMIT and industry to develop the aquaculture diploma programme and its resources to ensure students get access to current aquaculture processes and systems. Mark and the students have been working with various aquaculture industry partners in areas of research as diverse as flesh condition in shellfish to species diversity in local Nelson rivers. He has also worked as a Consultant in developing modern aquaculture systems and aquaculture health management in a number of countries.
Mark coordinates the delivery of the Diploma in Aquaculture programme as well as teaching many of the courses at NMIT.
John Jacobs, Diploma in Aquaculture Tutorial Assistant
John Jacobs is excited about working at NMIT and supporting the development of the course, and aquaculture in the region.
John’s job involves supporting students either academically or personally to achieve their goals while at NMIT, assisting tutorial staff and managing livestock welfare and ancillary plant and equipment at both of NMIT’s aquaculture facilities. He also expects to be involved in community and industry liaison.
Before NMIT he worked in various roles in the primary industries sector including as a cowman/gardener, stockman, shepherd and in farm management. He was also a technician with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
More recently John has been a teacher for the YMCA in Nelson, an IHC support worker and supervisor, then manager of NMIT’s halls of residence at Franklyn Hall between 1992 until 2006.
“I’ve always enjoyed being in support roles, whether it’s with students or members of the community with disabilities, it’s great to be able to bring all my experiences together for this new role.”
Aquaculture is an area he has been interested in since his parents bought him his first aquarium at five years old.
“It’s wonderful to be able to immerse myself in something that I love.”
Wayne Hiini, Diploma in Aquaculture
A lifelong love of the sea and marine life have led Wayne Hiini in to a career in the exciting world of aquaculture research and development.
Wayne, who is Maori of Ngati Porou iwi, is a hatchery technician at the Cawthron Institute’s Aquaculture Park near Nelson, working on a selective breeding programme for spat (shellfish larvae). His main responsibility is maintaining and monitoring water nutrient levels, checking dissolved oxygen levels, pH levels and ensuring the general health and well-being of the marine fish.
“I’m basically a babysitter, looking after these little creatures and watching them grow. It’s a great job. Everyday I’m learning something different and gaining valuable knowledge and experience within the industry.”
Wayne secured the position while on work experience at Cawthron during his first year of studying NMIT’s 2-year Diploma in Aquaculture. Before that, he’d worked for 18 years in the construction industry.
“I absolutely love and enjoy this work. Every day I’m getting more experience with hatchery techniques, biosecurity issues and awareness of environmental best practice. Here at Cawthron I am amongst the cutting edge of aquaculture research and development and at the forefront of breakthrough technology.”
Wayne plans to continue his studies with a Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in the environment. He eventually wants to advise the industry on environmental issues, sustainability and environmental best practice, particularly around marine farming and aquaculture activities.
“I’m pro aquaculture but also pro the environment and I believe that aquaculture activity can work harmoniously within the environment if managed correctly.”
For now though, the married father of three, is looking forward to getting stuck in to his career.
“The aquaculture programme has provided me with great foundation in all areas and aspects of marine farming from management and professional communication skills to basic science, physics, chemistry and biology. I feel really prepared for the next stage in my career, and look forward to making a positive contribution to what is in fact, New Zealand’s fastest growing primary industry.”
Watch a video about the Diploma in Aquaculture on YouTube:
NMIT Relocation Scholarship
Get paid to move to Nelson and study aquaculture! It might sound too good to be true, but it’s the real deal being offered to residents of the Northland, Coromandel and Southland regions.
NMIT will offer a fees discount of $1,000 to successful applicants for the Diploma in Aquaculture. *Conditions apply
To find out more, submit an online enquiry or freephone 0800 422 733.
Marine Farming Association Scholarship
Graduates from Golden Bay High School who have spent at least one academic year in Year 13 and wants to study full time on the NMIT Diploma in Aquaculture (Fish Farming and fishery management) in 2014. The scholarship covers 50% of full course fee for two years of study to a maximum value on $5,500. Closing date 27 October 2013.
New Zealand King Salmon Aquaculture Scholarship
This scholarship is intended to assist students under the age of 25 with their course fees by subsidising half course fees for a first year student or full course fees for a second year student.
In order to qualify students must be residents of the Top of the South region at the time of application and under 25 years of age at the start of their first year. They can apply for the scholarship on both years of the course.
Students will apply to NMIT for the scholarship; NMIT will process applications and recommend suitable students to NZ King Salmon for approval.
At least one work placement at NZ King Salmon hatchery or sea farm must be carried out by each student during the year of their scholarship.
Find out more about this scholarship or contact Mark Burdass on 03 546 9175 ext 328.