What is your role in the seafood industry?
I am a scientist who works with the seafood industry to ensure present and future sustainability of our fisheries. My role as a Senior Research Officer at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI – Aquatic Sciences), where I am a member of the Pelagic Fishes sub-program, focuses mainly on stock assessments and research for the Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery and the South Australian Sardine Fishery.
How did you get involved with the seafood industry?
I have a varied background with fish and fisheries, being originally from the USA. I worked in the highly productive saltmarsh estuaries of the northern Gulf of Mexico that support valuable finfish, shrimp and oyster fisheries before taking the leap of a lifetime and moving to South Australia in 2011. Since then, I’ve completed my PhD at the University of Adelaide (related to fish, of course), became an executive member of the Australian Society for Fish Biology and submerged myself in Australian fish and fisheries.
What do you love about working in the seafood industry and what has been your favourite experience?
I love the applied nature of fisheries science where my day-to-day activities lead directly to management decisions. I get less time in the field these days, but some of my favourite experiences have been on the water with fishers in the southern rock lobster industry and in the Great Australian Bight trawl fishery. For me, it’s the anticipation of the next pot or net being hauled in, the wide open space, a really good sunrise and appreciation of the demanding working conditions.