hey embarked on an integrated MSc in Aquaculture and Seafood last year, and will complete their studies in another four years. This autumn, the University of Bergen (UiB) is launching two more master’s degree courses focusing on marine technology and seafood. This year, 212 prospective students put one of the programmes in first place on their application forms. They are competing for 64 places, which the UiB is offering in conjunction with the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy.
Valuable practice in Bergen
Lars-Thomas and Kari Anne have been busy studying theoretical biology and chemistry, and doing lab work. In time, they will receive help from the many marine-focused companies in the Bergen area, which can offer valuable practical experience on the road to graduation. Aquaculture and seafood constitute Norway’s fastest-growing labour market. In 2021, the pair will probably be among the country’s most sought-after employees.
“Aquaculture and fisheries have a huge future ahead of them. I expect to have plenty of interesting work to do,” says Kari Anne, a native of Bergen.
Lars-Thomas is from Gulen in Sogn and has already arranged a scholarship covering his whole period of study, as well as a job offer in four years’ time from a fish farming company.
Harald Walderhaug is vice dean of education at the UiB’s Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. He is extremely pleased that the master programmes are perceived as being attractive, and believes that their success is the result of the collaboration between the university and industry players.
“The seafood industry was unhappy with what we were offering. They approached us with specific wishes about what the courses should contain. We listened and rose to the challenge,” says Vice Dean Walderhaug.
He admits that the university had a lot to learn.
“We are located in one of the world’s foremost maritime cities, but we were not good enough at picking up on its needs. Now we are working well with the business clusters in areas such as innovation and entrepreneurship. The commercial environments also represent a massive resource for our students,” he adds.
Marine studies in an exceptional position
Dean of Marine Studies at the UiB, Jarl Giske, emphasises the exceptional position of marine studies in Bergen.
“The competence and resources here are at the forefront internationally,” he says. “It is only in the marine area that we in Bergen can undertake research that will, over time, be of major importance for the whole world.
“Before, many people went to Trondheim to study engineering. Now that courses in aquaculture and marine technology are being offered here in Bergen, the competence acquired will remain in the region to a greater extent. That is something which we are naturally very happy about,” says Harald Walderhaug.
Use of antibiotics in the production of farmed salmon has been slashed by 99 per cent since 1987. Less than 1 per cent, practically none, of the country’s total output of salmon has been treated with antibiotics.
(Source: Norwegian Veterinary Institute)
billion rise in value
Norway exported 636,000 tonnes of seafood, worth NOK 24.1 billion in the first quarter 2017.
That is a 7 per cent drop in volume, but a 13 per cent or NOK 2.7 billion rise in value.
Norwegian aquaculture has a significant impact on local economies. In 2014, the aquaculture industry bought goods and services in Norway to the tune of NOK 34.3 billion.