Being a Little Shellfish! My Summer Co-op

seals on rocksRotting oysters smell terrible! Getting their gooey innards all over your clothing is worse, but the job was still terrific.

During the summer I was lucky enough to be back home working at a shellfish company, Mac’s Oyster Ltd. in Fanny Bay (my mom hated the smells I brought home…).  This co-op was a little daunting at first because I have no background in marine biology or aquaculture, but that just meant I had a lot to learn!

I worked with two other co-op students from UVic. One of our responsibilities was to grow ~25 million clam seeds (yeah, they’re called seeds…) from 1.1 millimeters to 6-8 millimeters so they could be transferred to the beach.

This required learning to drive a 31 ft. boat, operate a lift, balance on rafts, tie knots, and repair shellfish trays. It was, if anything, a very strange and unique experience.

Despite the labour-intensive nature of the work, this co-op experience has led to new opportunities in academia. My honours project at UVic focuses on a human pathogen that is commonly present in raw oysters during the summer. This opportunity would not arisen had I not pursued it.

All puns aside, sometimes you have to be selfish – opportunities arise more often from asking than from thin air. I have understood that for a long time, but it has taken me far too long to apply it.

image1  image2  image4  image3

You may also like...