One of the things Charles likes most about his role as Resources Manager is that it combines fishing and sustainability in a practical way.
“I am often the interface between what we see on the water, and the science that runs alongside that. For example, a key part of my role is to monitor stock assessment data, and work with scientists, regulators and fishermen to keep this information updated,” Charles says.
“Another big focus is sustainability, making sure we catch the species we’re targeting as opposed to other species, and working on climate change adaptation.”
Charles has always been ‘a science guy’, with a degree in zoology and psychology and a CV rich in hands-on roles.
In an early role as a NIWA aquaculture research technician he grew Pacific oyster spat and microalgae he then provided to Sealord for mussel larvae propagation. This led to his first Sealord job with the mussel hatchery in 2008 and he hasn’t looked back since then.
From the hatchery, Charles moved into aquaculture projects, but then decided to take a secondment to try his hand at barramundi farming at Sealord-owned King Reef in Queensland, making the Australian tropics a home with his family for the next five years.
There, Charles applied his problem-solving savvy to a cyclone-stricken business, building a new hatchery to keep the farm stocked, then sorting out the feeding, fish health and harvesting. He was seeing success as farm manager at King Reef Barramundi but when the kids started to talk with a Queensland accent, it was time to come home!
Sealord welcomed Charles back to work, as Operations Manager for the consumer division where he applied his new farm management skills to oversee the factory producing coated fish products.
“Managing a factory is like running a farm – you find the bit that is slowing you down and change it. “
Charles was then offered the new role of Technical Manager, responsible for advanced technologies such as Precision Seafood Harvesting and the acoustic optical system. While he was confident being back in a ‘science job’ he had to get up to speed with fishing – a learning curve that then placed him in good stead for his current role as Resources Manager.