French trip 2015
Trip to France, Bordeaux from Norway
29.09 2015- 01.10.2015
Day 1: 29.09
We started with a visit to a farm with production of gambas (Parapenaeus longirostris). It was very interesting to see how they farm this species; the area was near the sea, thus making much of the gambas habitat brackish. After the tour, students and teachers got to taste the products direct from the farm; gambas, snails, crabs and juvenile shrimp. The crabs were originally predators on the gambas, but this farm has exploited the possibilities to use crabs as food, therefore they have developed different nets to catch these small crabs. It is an effective, and a sustainable way to manage a farm.
After the visit at the gambas farm, we visited the castle of Médoc, a place where they had put out fish (carpe and sturgeon) in the water, a catch and release pond for sport fishing only. This was mainly a tour around the pond where the host talked about the ecosystem around the area of Mèdoc, not a direct observation of the fish in the pond. This was a nice diversion in the program, because it is important to teach and show students.
At the end of the day, we were fortunate enough to visit a farm of production of sturgeons and the sturgeons’ caviar. They had Russian sturgeon in production here, whereas in Mèdoc there were both Russian and Canadian sturgeons.
We were encouraged to be quiet during our tour here because the fish easily is stressed, and may bump into the walls inside their pool. This may cause injury or even death.
Day 2: 30.09
This day started with a brief presentation from our Norwegian students, telling about Val vgs and how it is to be a Norwegian student. Afterwards Geir and Tonje supplemented with more information about school system, aquaculture and the possibilities after the students are graduated. The Irish teachers from BIM and the French from Lycèe de la mar also explained how their aquaculture education system works.
When the presentations were finished, we continued with a tour at their school, including the algae lab, and looking at seabass and seabream. This school had a complete set for microalgae culture with five different species in plastic containers.
When lunch was over we had a social trip to Arcachon Bay with the Irish teachers, looking at the science lab in the Aquarium Musée d’Arcachon and taking a boat trip out in the bay, to see farmers.
Day 3: 01.10
All the teachers met to discuss various topics in education in different countries. This was very useful and informative. We learned that the systems we have in Norway corresponds well with the systems they have in both France and Ireland. However, a great deal differed. Where we in Norway have a program for four years with a possibility to reach a higher level in management with high salary, there is in Ireland not a job where you can seek a higher career or increased salary. There is a huge problem with recruitment for these kinds of jobs, because not many Irish people desire these jobs. A lack of possibilities for further education/career, popularity and acceptance in the country and salary, are the main issues for not wanting jobs. Instead, there is a higher recruitment of foreign workers from Eastern Europe. In Norway, we can get huge careers and the rank in a company is not that obvious. There is not a big difference in salary between the ranks.
In France at oyster farms there seems to be good possibilities to get work after studies, as in Norway.
We had a very nice ending on the last day, where the headmaster attended and delivered a speech for us and the students.