The Batavia Coast Maritime Institute (BCMI) will be opening its doors to the public for the first time on Saturday 15 November. All training and research areas will be on display with free entry for visitors between 10am and 4pm.
The focus of the event will be on giving the community including school leavers, parents and jobseekers information about training pathways and career options, in addition to meeting the team of internationally industry experienced staff.
The iconic building located at Separation Point in Geraldton, is a state of the art training, research and development facility which opened in 2006 after ten years of planning and development. Since then it has positioned itself as a world class best practice aquaculture, marine research and training facility.
BCMI conducts research and carries out environmental projects of national relevance with training links to all of these projects for students. Visitors will be able to see the research work carried out on one of the more important projects which has gained national recognition lately, the control of Tilapia - a noxious fish invasive species in the rivers of the mid-west.
Training is offered in qualifications for aquaculture, aquaponics, conservation and land management, maritime industry, environmental science, laboratory sciences and sustainability with ongoing research projects at the Abrolhos Islands.
The highlight of the event will be guided tours through the aquaculture hatchery looking for Nemo and other ornamental fish which are bred by staff and students as part of their training course for commercial sale around Australia.
Visitors will also be able to take part in the “big fish feeding frenzy” with 20 kilogram Cobia grown up to one meter in length and Yellow-Tail Kingfish as well as other species of commercial interest in the undercover grow-out facility not normally on display to visitors.
Other interactive activities include using the maritime simulator to steer a tanker into the port of Geraldton or testing your own water or soil samples from your pool, bore, dam or farm paddock in the only NATA accredited environmental testing laboratory north of Perth.
Firefighting, aquaponics and hydroponics demonstrations will run throughout the day and visitors can also wander freely through the horticulture and CALM greenhouses to consult with the BCMI team about tips to grow the best fruit and vegetable in the region.
The public will be able to enjoy the maritime theme of the event with free fish burgers and relax in the landscaped gardens while a variety of activities unfold around them including a family play area, ice-creams, coffee and special guests at the official welcoming ceremony to be held at noon.