CEDUNA Area School are providing another career pathway for their students with the establishment of their new Aquaculture Centre.
With the new facility, students will be able to learn more about the aquaculture industry, which is one of the largest industries on the Eyre Peninsula and Far West Coast.
The Centre was finished after six months work to put it together, with students already introduced to how the facility operates.
The facility will be used to raise fresh water fish from fingerlings, around 5-10 centremetres in size, to full-grown fish, which can then be processed and sold.
They will focus primarily on barramundi at this stage, although the School are also attempting to acquire jade perch, which has the highest levels of Omega-3 recorded by the CSIRO.
Area School teacher Craig Irvine said the facility would provide a pathway for any students looking to get into the industry.
“We are providing a career pathway for the future as the aquaculture industry is going to be much bigger in 5-10 years as feeding the population becomes a big priority,” he said.
“But it also teaches hands on skills which could also be utilised in other industries.”
The water is constantly treated to remove waste and leftover food, while also being kept at a liveable temperature for the fish.
The Centre also has a processing room for gutting, cleaning and storing fish, which contains state of the art equipment including a freezer and a smoker.
Mr Irvine said they wanted to make sure the students were able to use the best equipment possible.
“We wanted them to use state of the art equipment, as using cheaper tools could facilitate bad habits if they decide to go on further into the industry,” he said.
Currently planned for Year 10-12 students at this stage, there are plans to utilise the Centre for all Years in the future.
Area School Principal Jim Michelanney said the facility could also be encompassed into other areas across the curriculum.
“A number of staff are excited to develop and integrate a whole range of learning areas from the Aquaculture Centre,” he said.
“We can see how the centre could be utilised in teaching the students science or even maths.”
Ceduna Area School is in a consortium of schools including Cowell Area School and Port Lincoln High School, which has worked with people within the aquaculture industry to find out what to teach the students.
The consortium works to provide opportunities for aquaculture in the region, as a result of a federal initiative in response to industry skills needs in the region.
Work on raising the fish will begin once the school acquires a license from PIRSA to process and sell fish, they have already acquired the license to store fish at the Centre.