Port Lincoln students prepare for aquaculture workforce

Eyre Peninsula students will have access to hands-on training in the aquaculture industry through a partnership between the Port Lincoln High School and TAFE SA.

The joint initiative will allow senior students to enter the workforce earlier, with students able to complete a Certificate II in Aquaculture in Year 11.

By Year 12 students can then complete the units from the Diploma of Aquaculture at school, before completing the one-year diploma in six to eight months after graduation.

Students will then be equipped with the skills to enter the workforce or go on to study marine biology and aquaculture at Flinders University.

Previously, students were only able to complete the Certificate II at school before waiting until finishing school to tackle the diploma.

The majority of training will be undertaken at the Port Lincoln High School’s aquaculture training facility.

Port Lincoln is regarded as the seafood capital of Australia and is home to one of the largest fishing fleets in the southern hemisphere.

Photo: PIRSA.

TAFE SA aquaculture lecturer Brent Smith says with continued growth in seafood demand domestically and globally, it’s more important than ever to ensure the future aquaculture workforce has the highest level of skill and training.

“More than 2/3 of the state’s aquaculture workforce is employed in the Eyre Peninsula region alone,” he says.

“There is strong demand for workers on tuna, mussel, oyster, kingfish and abalone farms as well as many more in hatcheries, processing, marketing, transport and other related activities.”

Students will learn a range of skills including filleting fish, feeding, handling and harvesting stock, developing an aquaculture breeding strategy and various other maritime skills.

Port Lincoln High School aquaculture teacher Chris McGown says the partnership with TAFE SA will give students the basic skills needed to work in the industry or pursue further study.

“We have a massive aquaculture industry on our doorstep – most of the town is employed in some way through aquaculture,” he says.

“There are oysters, abalone, and tuna farms as well as factory workers – there is an abundance of opportunities and students haven’t previously had access to this sort of pathway.”

According to the Department of Primary Industries and Research SA (PIRSA), the aquaculture industry is one of the largest primary production sectors in the state.

The majority of SA’s aquaculture farming lies in the coastal waters of the Eyre Peninsula, while 81% of the state’s regional aquaculture workforce is employed in the region.

For more information visit the TAFE SA website.

Want to know what it’s like to work in Port Lincoln’s seafood industry? Check out the I Choose SA video below!

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Lobster lessons with MasterChef’s Adam Liaw

By Melissa Keogh

If anyone can teach South Aussies how to whip up the perfect crustacean creation, it’s former MasterChef winner Adam Liaw.

The celebrity chef, who took the crown in season two of the popular cooking show, visited Adelaide’s Sprout Cooking School and Health Studio recently to prepare a southern rock lobster with tarragon brown butter.

A proud supporter of the I Choose SA campaign, Adam explains in his video below the simplest way to make the most of one of SA’s most celebrated seafoods.

Blog770pxRock Lobster - Adam Liaw - PRINT-032

He also shares the importance of the southern rock lobster industry to the state’s economy.

He says the SA rock lobster industry generates more than $380m in economic activity every year, while supporting 1600 jobs in Adelaide and coastal regions.

“We have incredible produce here in SA from our oceans to our rivers to our farms and when it is this good you really should be choosing South Australian,” Adam says.

The SA rock lobster with tarragon brown butter.

The SA rock lobster with tarragon brown butter.

So, where do we get our lobsters from?

Third generation seafood company, Ferguson Australia, catches wild southern rock lobsters from the Southern Ocean.

Ferguson recently became the first fishery in Australia and the third in the world to gain sustainability certification for the southern rock lobster.

It was also the first in the world to achieve the prestigious Friend of the Sea (FoS) certification for sustainable fishing practices for six other species, the giant crab, southern garfish, King George whiting, gummy shark, ocean jacket and flathead.

The Ferguson family recently became the first fishery in Australia to gain sustainability certification for the southern rock lobster.

The Ferguson family recently became the first fishery in Australia to gain sustainability certification for the southern rock lobster.

FoS accreditation recognises seafood companies that have sustainable harvesting practices.

The audit process assesses fishing methods, ecosystem impact and the management of fisheries within a maximum sustainable harvest quota.

It ensures that certified aquaculture farms produce fish without the use of growth hormones and respect water parameters and critical habitats, among other criteria.

The southern rock lobster, while large in its overall size, is renowned for its sweet-tasting and delicate flesh.

With a bit of boiling and whisking of simple ingredients, Adam’s SA rock lobster with tarragon brown butter is a classic, melt-in-your-mouth dish.