Margaret Stevenson – WINSC QLD Director
How did I become involved with the seafood industry?
Almost 31 years ago I married my commercial fisherman boyfriend and became his business partner and occasional deckie, but mostly his manager of land-based activities: office manager, food safety officer, and “go-for”. He was a reef-line fisherman in waters from the Sunshine Coast to Fraser Island and beyond to the Great Barrier Reef. He later became a net fisherman fishing for shark, mackerel, mullet, thread fin salmon and a wide variety of inshore species.
When I joined the Women’s Industry Network Seafood Community in 1998, things were becoming challenging for Queensland fishermen so I became much more involved in industry issues – networking and explaining fishing practices to school students and the public, writing submissions, meeting with fisheries managers and politicians and helping to draft the Wide Bay-Burnett/Great Sandy Region Seafood Industry Environment Management System.
My most memorable experience?
My involvement with WINSC and the Seafood industry provided me with the opportunity to attend and speak at the 2nd World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress in Mérida, Mexico in 2014. In addition I had the opportunity to visit the fishing port of Progresso which was an amazing experience seeing so many fishing boats in one port.
What I love about the seafood industry?
I grew up in a rural community so always had an affinity with people from Primary Industries. I love the wonderful and resilient people I have met in the seafood industry, their passion for the industry and their “salt of the earth” natures. I value the friendships and the knowledge I have gained. I love knowing that somewhere seafood consumers are enjoying eating highest quality seafood that our business has caught and taken great care to provide for them.
My hopes for the industry?
I hope that the Australian community and politicians will once again come to fully appreciate the sacrifices and efforts made by those in the seafood industry to serve them by providing an amazing array of delicious and nourishing seafood products.