MARYSTOWN, NL — It was just over four months ago that four employees with Grieg NL’s aquaculture project in Marystown travelled to Norway as part of the company’s Norwegian knowledge exchange.
During their time in Norway, Laura Dwyer, Shalyn Ryan, Jordan Keats and Candice Way visited Grieg’s facilities and worked with others to learn about equipment and processes.
“I got to see pretty well from right from the hatchery to the fish being harvested,” explained Shalyn Ryan. “I saw most of the whole process – it was pretty interesting. I got to travel to five different locations.”
Ryan added it was a great experience to see how things are done in Norway.
“For most of my stay I stayed at the one site, and I did whatever the other workers did.”
She said travelling to the facilities and training with the workers gave her a better understanding of what to expect at Grieg’s proposed Marystown sites.
Jordan Keats, who will be employed as water quality specialist in Marystown, said it was great to work with equipment similar to that planned for Grieg’s local operation.
“It’s great to see how everything works together and how well everything works.”
Laura Dwyer and Candice Way were both at the same facility, so their experience was very much the same.
They worked at a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility for four weeks, said Way, and had a chance to see an expansion project underway on the recently built RAS facility.
“We had an opportunity to see the construction of the other two (RAS facilities) and get an idea of what’s going to be involved in building a facility.”
Way said seeing the work in progress opened a lot of questions about the different equipment used.
“It gave us a little bit more experience to be able to ask better and more questions.”
Felt like home
All four said they had an enjoyable stay in Norway, which is similar in geography and weather to Newfoundland, said Dwyer.
Ryan said working on site in a place called Jelsa was especially inspiring.
“I was looking around just in awe at the fjords and I was like, ‘I can’t believe that you guys work in this all day, every day,’ and they were like, ‘it’s just normal stuff for us.’”
Candice Way said that she feels the trip was a good learning experience.
“We definitely came home with a lot more knowledge and better prepared.”
Keats said he learned how important each step is to the final product.
“When the fish are in egg form, you plan the whole process to make sure that you’re doing the best practices along the whole way to ensure the fish you get out…are good quality.”
Way also added visiting the facilities makes their goal more real, rather than “a plan on a piece of paper.”
“We saw fish being grown in 16-metre tanks in a recirculating facility and I was very surprised with the quality of salmon that we saw – they were very healthy,” she said.
“It was really good to see that sort of thing and so I’m really optimistic that we’re going to have the same here.”