1. How did you get started in the industry?
I worked part time as a deckhand to earn some money when I was an apprentice carpenter.
2. Why do you do what you do?
I love being at sea, and it’s a good way to make a living; it’s a clean, healthy life.
3. What is your first seafood or fishing memory?
Snorkelling and free diving for crayfish (Southern Rock Lobster) with my father.
4. What does your average day look like?
When I go out fishing, usually for four or five days at a time, I head out at daybreak, and set cray pots, or set lines during the morning, depending on what I’m fishing for. If I set lines I check them in the afternoon and bring them in. You can’t leave them out overnight. I’m in bed by 9pm to start early the next day.
5. What is your favourite part of the day?
The anticipation of the catch and finding out whether I’ve made the right decision about where to fish for the day.
6. What is one thing people would not know about your day?
I don’t think people would realise how much stress there is in fishing related to the regulations around quota, what you can catch and what you’re forced do discard; the management issues, the impacts of investors who own quota but who aren’t fishers – people don’t see that kind of thing.
7. Where do you see the industry going in the future?
There’s a positive outlook for fishing, it’s going up, and up all the time.
8. What is a common misconception you encounter?
That all sharks need protecting.
Gummy Shark, (which is flake) is very sustainable, the populations are very healthy. So it’s really damaging to the industry when people think that every shark is endangered and they refuse to eat any kind of shark on that basis.
9. What are the 3 main qualities people should look for in seafood they purchase?
Buy something that has been caught fresh in your local area if you can.
Take what’s on offer - a species you might not have tried before.