Friday, December 10, 2010

MSc Module 6: Aquaculture in Practice

The sixth and final module for the Foundation portion of the Masters thesis was titled ‘Aquaculture in Practice’.  The first week was spent in the field, visiting fish farms along the west coast of Scotland (see previous blog article).

The second week we spent at the Institute, receiving a variety of lectures on the economics of the aquaculture industry.  These topics included cashflows, supply and demand, marketing, and financial assessments.  The main assessed project was a complete feasibility study for a given aquaculture operation: our group chose to set up a kingfish (Seriola lalandi) facility in New Zealand.  We looked at all the aspects of starting such a farm, including capital and operating costs, markets, prices, and investment analysis.  

At the end of the week, we gave an investment pitch to a group of professors who played the part of potential investors, grilling us about where their money was going and what we were going to do with it.  When the dust settled, the operation that we designed stood up to their challenges, and we were commended for constructing such a sound business venture.

With the Foundation Modules now complete, we have a month-long break for the Holidays, during which I will be traveling in Europe.  After we return, we begin the Advanced Modules, where we are allowed to choose the courses we take in an effort to specialize our knowledge and gain specific degree outcomes.  As I will be pursuing a degree in ‘Sustainable Aquaculture Business Management’, the majority of my courses will focus on that motif.

See you in the New Year!  

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