What is your job title and what are your daily duties?
Environmental Compliance and Regulatory Affairs Manager – Cooke Aquaculture
I manage all compliance issues; oversee environmental certification, environmental monitoring, new site applications, renewals and permits, leases and license maintenance, and company contact for government relations. I participate in a number of industry and government committees. I dedicate a percentage of my time to the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association and am the supervisor to the Lease and Environmental Coordinator, Julia Jensen.
How is your career related to the aquaculture industry?
Each aspect of my position is involved with the maintenance and growth of the industry. The environmental courses I’ve taken are directly related to my every day role. The Marine Institute provided a very good foundation for understanding the basics and science of aquaculture. After university I began working on a farm site and due to my passion for environmental sustainability and certification, my career evolved to be more involved in this area.
What type of service or product do you or your company provide?
Cold Ocean Salmon/Cooke Aquaculture is a fully integrated aquaculture company which offers a high quality steelhead trout and Atlantic salmon to North American market. They also after: Trucking services, packaging, net manufacturing and repair, primary and secondary processing, and much more.
What is your educational background and/or work experience and how has it assisted you in this aquaculture career path?
I have a degree in Biology and a diploma in Aquaculture. If it wasn’t for my aquaculture education, I wouldn’t have the opportunities that have helped me advance in the industry. My education has led to experience which has led me to even better opportunities.
What attracted you to your current job?
I was very interested in aquaculture and ways to help reduce the pressure on the wild fishery. I have a passion for nutrition and environmental sustainability. To be able to provide people a very healthy product in a sustainable manner was very attractive for me. Aquaculture was the perfect fit. I love nature and this career allows me to be outside on the ocean quite a bit. I graduated in 1998 and since there weren’t a lot of opportunities available in NL, I moved to BC for employment. My job was already secured while I was completing my degree. As the industry grew in NL I was recruited to bring my experience back home.
What are the benefits of this aquaculture job?
I love living at home in NL and being a part of the economic growth in rural communities such as ours. I am also happy to be a part of providing such excellent, healthy seafood to an environmentally sustainable manner. I look forward to the new challenges each day brings and enjoy being a part of such an exciting, growing industry. I am thankful to be able to raise my family while building a career in my home province without the hustle and bustle of living the city life.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
I thoroughly enjoy working with people – individuals involved in the industry with similar interests as I have in the outdoors, nature, environment, etc. I especially love working on the water; there is nothing better.
What advice would you give to people considering job opportunities in aquaculture?
There are a variety of interests in which individuals can find a career in aquaculture. It’s more than just feeding fish! There are nutrition experts, veterinary sciences, processing, environmental monitoring, environmental certification, compliance, health & safety, accounting, electrical, welding, vessel operators and much more. I would highly recommend learning the basics about aquaculture as this knowledge will help in any field within the industry.