I was born/grew up in: I was born in St. John’s, NL
I now live in: I have lived in various rural communities in NL, but currently reside in St. Alban’s, NL
I completed my training/education at: I completed the Marine Environmental Technology Diploma program at the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University. I have also been working towards, and am almost completed, my Bachelors Degree in Technology (Engineering Technology and Applied Science) online.
What I do at work
Every day is different! I monitor various activities on the work site to collect data for submission to government. Depending on the time of year, there are different things on which I focus. At the beginning of the calendar year, for example, we have provincial and federal annual reports to submit. As we move into spring, I am responsible for making sure we have all of our required permits and licenses to transfer fish to our sites. As we transition into the summer, my focus turns to our certification programs. I also assist with on-site audits, in both NL and NB, for our saltwater sites and freshwater hatcheries.
The biggest daily challenge is coordinating the completion of government directives and staying on top of all of the requirements. Aquaculture is a very well regulated industry! We have to follow the conditions of our operating licenses and make sure we are maintaining compliance at all times.
STEM has helped me to work efficiently and appropriately when dealing with government and third party agencies. I analyze best approaches and responses to requests. Then I work with our staff to make sure we can meet the requirements without negatively affecting our operations.
My career path is
When I was in junior high school, I participated in a mini enrichment course at the Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) in St. John’s. Reading the descriptions and not understanding what aquaculture was at that time, I chose to do the Aquaculture option. After high school, I decided to go to MI and enrolled in the Marine Environmental Tech Diploma program. My intention was to take the advanced diploma in Sustainable Aquaculture once I was finished.
However, after three intense years, and where I was in my personal life, I decided to jump into the workplace. I followed my partner to the beautiful rural community of Pool’s Cove, NL. Here we both began working for Northern Harvest Sea Farms NL Ltd. I worked in compliance with the Project Manager. At the time, I had no idea how much of a mentor she would be and how much I would learn from her in the coming years.
After two years, life led us away from the company for a short while. After this short departure, we found ourselves pulled back into the industry. I went back to work with the Project Manager again, in a similar capacity, and decided to live in St. Alban’s, NL. My role with the company has evolved and I’ve experienced a change in leadership, with my manager retiring. We have also had a change in ownership, with the purchase of the company by Mowi. It has been very exciting and I have developed a lot of confidence and pride in my position. I also get to work with an excellent team. Check my LinkedIn profile for more information.
I am motivated by
I really enjoy how dynamic my career is and how it is always evolving. I work closely with a great team, and we collaborate with the entire business unit. Depending on the project, we could be visiting our freshwater facilities or saltwater sites in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, or Prince Edward Island. We could also be travelling to other business units across the globe, or participating in global conferences. Our business unit is developing, so there are new players in the game and new technology, keeping things fresh, forward thinking and efficient. I learn something new every day.
How I affect peoples’ lives
In my role at Mowi Canada East, I make sure that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing and what we say we are doing. It is important that we operate in compliance with all the regulatory aspects within the industry. This helps prove to customers that we are a responsible and sustainable operation in Atlantic Canada. I also assist our operations team to demonstrate that we are doing the best aquaculture practices (BAP) globally. We do this through the BAP certification program as well as the Aquaculture Stewardship Council standard. Within the sustainability division, you must collaborate with all the divisions in the business unit. As a result, you have to be open, friendly, and hardworking because there are so many priorities and so many wheels turning at the same time.
Outside of work I
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family. We are an active family, with a golden retriever, two cats, and five ducks. We also enjoy gardening and are continually working towards being self-sufficient. When I do have time to myself, I enjoy reading and watching movies.
My advice to others
Go to where the work is and explore every opportunity that presents itself. The aquaculture industry is so dynamic and it is growing at such a rapid pace. You need to jump in and see where your passions lie. Aquaculture is an industry that quite often operates in rural areas. Don’t let that worry you if you are not from a rural area. These areas are diamonds in the rough and can offer you more than you would realize especially if you enjoy the outdoors.