How to get ahead in aquaculture

9 March 2019, at 7:28pm

Networking, hard graft, volunteering and being prepared to leave one’s comfort zone are among the key attributes needed by people keen to enter the aquaculture sector, according to an industry veteran.

Speaking at Aquaculture 2019 this week, Jim Bowker, director of research and animal welfare at Riverence farms, informed aspiring aquaculture practitioners about the skillset needed to progress in the sector, drawing on his 34 years in the business.

Key among his recommendations were a willingness to volunteer, network and – once you do get job – don’t just “turn up to work to get a paycheck”.

“You need to be smart, productive and easy to get along with,” he added.

“At the Idaho chapter of the American Fisheries Society the mantra was ‘we hire you for your technical skills, we fire you for your interpersonal skills’,” he went on to explain, pointing to the need to be organised, helpful and enthusiastic.

Bowker’s talk was part of a popular career advisory session at the New Orleans event, which included all manner of colourful tales, not least from Mike Freeze, founder of Keo Fish Farms.

Senior editor at The Fish Site

Rob Fletcher has been writing about aquaculture since 2007, as editor of Fish Farmer, Fish Farming Expert and The Fish Site. He has an MA in history from the University of Edinburgh and an MSc in sustainable aquaculture from the University of St Andrews. He currently lives and works in Scotland.

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