What is your job title and brief job description?
Facility and Business Manager of the Dr. Joe Brown Aquatic Research Building (JBARB) – Ocean Sciences Centre of Memorial University of Newfoundland.
I am responsible for the day-to-day management of all aspects of the JBARB including policy and project management, proposal writing, contract negotiations with industry partners and cash flow. My work requires me to travel to farm sites, attend local, national and international workshops and conferences. I also sit on various technical committees, boards and involved with various aquaculture associations.
What type of service or product do you or your company provide?
The Ocean Sciences Centre and its Dr. Joe Brown Aquatic Research Building is a leader in research in cold ocean sciences and has achieved a status as a research-intensive facility with a strong record in peer-reviewed publications, external awards to faculty members and students, significant success in recent external funding competitions, and contribution in national and international conferences.
How is your career related to the aquaculture industry?
I am part of a team that delivers education for our young graduates and scientist for today’s aquaculture industry. I am responsible for the day to day operations of a facility dedicated to Aquaculture Research and Development for our province. The Dr. Joe Brown Aquatic Research Building (JBARB), provides state-of-the-art facilities designed to support research, training, pre-commercial production, and small-scale commercial trials, on alternative species for marine aquaculture.
What is your educational background and/or work experience and how has it assisted you in this aquaculture career path?
I graduated with a Masters of Science degree in Aquaculture from Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. I was later awarded a Masters Certificate in Project Management from York University and Memorial School of business. I was also awarded distinction as a Fellow from the School of Graduate Studies at Memorial. As well, I completed a Bachelor degree at Memorial supplemented by Graduate Diplomas in both Aquaculture and Fisheries Development from the Marine Institute of Memorial University.
I have twenty years experience in fisheries and aquaculture and have worked in various capacities such as in salmonid hatcheries, marine fin fish hatcheries and commercial cod sites. I’ve also conducted numerous fisheries and oceans related research and development projects.
What attracted you to your current job?
Aquaculture was a relatively new exciting career choice 20 years ago. I saw it as an opportunity to become involved in an industry that was just beginning. I believed that we (NL) had the potential to become serious player in the industry.
What are the benefits of this aquaculture job?
Wow, there are so many benefits. It ranges from having the pleasure to work with students, scientists and many other great people in this industry. I also get to work next to the ocean when in my office here in Logy Bay, watch the whales, ice bergs and many other things that take place here in Logy Bay. I grew up in Bonavista and spent many days near the ocean. The old saying that “you can take the boy from the bay and not the bay from the boy”, still holds true for me. Just being able to look out at the salt water each day from work is very satisfying to me.
When not in Logy Bay, I may be found on a finfish cage site or mussel farm at various locations throughout the province or at a service sector store. I get to travel for work related projects and also attend conferences and trade missions.
Most of all, I believe in the potential that aquaculture can offer to the people of our great province. Aquaculture development has proven to be a revitalizing social and economic force in our rural communities. It provides meaningful year-round employment and a reason for youth to remain. I am very happy to be part of an industry that is growing in leaps and bounds.
What does your job entail on a daily basis?
When I am at the Oceans Sciences Center I spend my time checking the facilities and tanks, the well-being of the fish, and the water systems and pumps. I also spend my time overseeing basic and applied research on aquaculture. At the centre it is also our responsibility to train staff, students and industry professionals. I also spend a lot of my time with researchers and scientist who visit the centre from The UK, Norway, Korea, South America, and parts of North America. I also spend time carrying out project management responsibilities with various projects at the OSC and through-out Newfoundland and Labrador.
When I’m in my office you might find me drafting budgets, analyzing data, writing proposals, analyzing graphs, and reading and writing scientific papers. I also spend a lot of time interacting with other researchers and scientists learning about the different projects they are working on and teaching them about the ones I am working on. I also spend time on the farms with the finfish and shellfish growers. I interact with many government agencies and funders. I have also been an active member of many boards and committees. I currently play a role on the board of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association.
What is the importance of your career?
I believe the research we do is very important. Research related directly towards aquaculture and fishers is very important because in the past few years there has been an increase in the global demand for seafood and that demand is continuing to increase. It is going to be necessary that we increase our seafood supply to meet this global demand.
I think these increases in seafood production are going to have to come from aquaculture or farm products and not from wild fisheries products. This means that there is going to be a greater emphasis on aquaculture to meet consumer demands. The good thing is, I think Canada is well positioned to meet this demand and to supply global markets with seafood. I also think that Newfoundland is going to become an important player in global fisheries and aquaculture markets. There is still a lot of research and development being done in this area to ensure that these demands can be met and to ensure that we are producing environmentally sustainable, fresh and healthy seafood and aquaculture products.”
The demand for fisheries and aquaculture products is going to create a need for jobs primarily located in rural areas of Newfoundland and the rest of Canada. This is going to create a good opportunity to for these areas to develop economically and to preserve their cultures,” says Danny.
What advice would you give to people considering job opportunities in aquaculture?
If you want to become an Aquaculturist, continued education is going to be very important throughout your career. We are living in a global world right now and advancements in technology have increased the passage of information and communication. During a single work day you may be conferencing with different people from all over the world. This creates a need for us to be educated about global issues, cultures and work practices from around the world.
I think the best thing to do is constantly challenge yourself because you are going to need a great deal of knowledge and experience to reach innovative solutions that are sometimes required in aquaculture. Creative thinking skills are also required. Therefore, if an opportunity arises to take a course, to travel or to attend a conferences or workshop, I suggest you take it.