Memorial University’s Marine Institute could be awarding its first bachelor of maritime studies to a professional fish harvester this time next year.
Memorial’s Senate recently approved a change to broaden the degree’s admission requirements to include applicants who hold a Fishing Master Class I credential. The new requirement opens the bachelor program beyond those with an accredited or Transport Canada approved diploma of technology in the marine fields to members of the Canadian fishing industry.
Dr. Peter Fisher, who heads up the institute’s Division of Academic and Student Affairs, says the new regulations reflect the Marine Institute’s goal to provide continuing education opportunities for maritime and technology professionals at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
“For the Marine Institute, the change represents a milestone in our degree offerings. More importantly, though, we are proud to support the continuing advancement of professional fish harvesters at the university level,” says Mr. Fisher.
The bachelor of maritime studies is a unique professional degree that examines business, marine and technology management concepts, including the impact of human resources, economics, marketing and quality management, in today’s marine industry. The program consists of 39 credit hours and can be
completed on a full or part-time basis. Students can attend classes on-campus and through internet-based distance delivery. Full-time students can complete the program in one academic year.
Mark Dolomount, executive director with the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board, thinks the change to the admission requirements is a positive step forward for the fishing industry.
“Allowing Fishing Master Class I certificate holders entry into the bachelor of maritime studies program, thus improving their accessibility to higher levels of learning, is certainly consistent with the goals and objectives of fisheries professionalization. The advanced knowledge and skills fishers receive from this degree will not only benefit the individual, but fishing enterprises, regulatory agencies, and the fishing industry generally.”
The Marine Institute has graduated 73 marine professionals since the degree was introduced.
The new regulations take effect for the 2008-09 calendar year.
This is the second addition to the education and training opportunities available to the province's professional fish harvesters undertaken by the Marine Institute during this academic year. Last fall, the institute launched its new 18-week technical certificate in harvesting which enables fish harvesters to satisfy the regulatory requirements of the Fishing Masters IV along with requirements of the Level II designation set by the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board.