Media release – 12 June 2015.

Mikaera Miru, Georgia Samuels and Tushar Koppikar are the three recipients of this year’s New Zealand King Salmon scholarships for students studying Aquaculture at Nelson
Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT).

In his first year, Mikaera Miru is a mature student with a passion and interest in scuba diving. This has inspired him to want to run his own aquaculture business specialising in kina production and management following completion of his studies.

Georgia Samuels is in her second year of her aquaculture diploma. With an A average, Georgia’s aim is to gain a merit endorsement. She has enjoyed her Year 1 placements at Clearwater Salmon Hatchery in Christchurch fin clipping over 33,000 salmon, and NIWA in Nelson studying the eating habits of King Shags.

Tushar Koppikar, is a post graduate international student who has a degree in Zoology and Fisheries, as well as a Master of Science degree in Marine Biology. Tushar wants hands on experience and to further his study in sustainable aquaculture. He has a strong passion for a future career in this area after relocating to the top of the South from Auckland for this course. His work experience to date has been with shrimp farming – monitoring water quality, feeding and harvesting.

New Zealand King Salmon Environmental Compliance Manager Mark Gillard said the company was providing the scholarship to give back to the community and to give keen students, such as these, the opportunity to study without having to worry so much about where the money is coming from. “It is a great cause and one we are proud of.”

The scholarships are designed to assist students financially with their fees as well as enabling them to enhance their understanding of the aquaculture industry. Paid work experience during semester breaks and summer holidays may also be offered to recipients.

NMIT Director of Marketing and International Development Virginia Watson says support from local businesses like New Zealand King Salmon helps to retain high performing students in the region who might otherwise leave and study elsewhere. NMIT offers the country’s first and only Diploma in Aquaculture. Launched in 2010, the first students graduated from the two year programme in 2012. Graduates are now working for companies such as New Zealand King Salmon, the Cawthron Institute, oyster and salmon farms in Australia and the Pacific, Mt Cook Alpine Salmon, Ministry of Primary Industries, NIWA, Sealord, Kono and Plant and Food Research. Many had secured work before they had even finished studying.

For further information about NMIT’s aquaculture programmes, visit

For further information about the scholarships, contact:
Dr Mark Burdass
NMIT Aquaculture Programme Co-ordinator
Ph: 03 546 9175 (ext. 328) or 027 246 1325

Images show recipients flanked by Mark Gillard, Environmental Compliance Manager, New Zealand King Salmon on the left and NMIT CEO Tony Gray on the right.