Recently we announced we have awarded ten bursaries to attend the 2019 Trans-Tasman Rock Lobster Congress in Queenstown, New Zealand. The $3,000 bursaries provide professional development for future leaders of the Western rock lobster Industry and target skippers and crew members who are actively engaged in fishing operations.
Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing you to our ten very deserving bursary winners of 2019!
Meet Eddie Fernandes, another deserving recipient of one of 10 bursaries to attend the 2019 Trans-Tasman Rock Lobster Congress in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Eddie is a 6th generation fisherman and a 3rd generation western rock lobster fisherman with sixteen years of professional lobster fishing experience! He is also a qualified Master Class V/Skipper Grade III and Marine Engine Driver Grade II of 12 years.
Eddie has also furthered his studies and obtained a certificate III in Transport and Distribution (Maritime Operations), Certificate II in Marine Studies (Yacht Master) and a Diploma of Marine Studies (Fisheries Management).
“I am emotionally and financially invested in this industry and my ultimate goal is to one day be the master of a rock lobster fishing vessel,” Eddie said.
Eddie’s vision for the Western rock lobster Industry is for it to be a sustainable fishery with a healthy abundance of western rock lobster stocks for future generations and to maintain the fishery’s MSC Certification to continue to be one of the best managed fisheries in the world.
“With the appropriate scientific research and industry support, I would like us to supply reasonable amounts of Western rock lobster to local and international markets,” he said.
“I would like to see our fleet stay strong with a healthy ratio of fishermen and investors who can work together to achieve my vision of a sustainable industry.
“As a small family business, I would like to have the confidence and security of having property rights of our units for all invested in our industry.”
Eddie aims to form strong relationships with like-minded people in the industry, which will help develop his knowledge and skills in order to grow his family business and achieve his personal goals.
“Being my first opportunity to attend the Trans-Tasman Rock Lobster Congress, I would like to get the most out of the experience and gain invaluable knowledge from expert industry personal as well as share my knowledge of the Western rock lobster Industry to fellow peers,” Eddie said.
“I believe the Congress is an ideal forum to build invaluable relationships so we can continue to support one another in growing and building this strong, healthy industry.”
In the next 2 years, Eddie strives to continue to strengthen and build on his father’s legacy and says that with his father’s strong work ethic and love for fishing, his father has showed himself and his two brothers that fishing is more than a job, it’s a way of life.
“My father migrated from Portugal and started lobster fishing at the young age of 13,” he said.
“He worked tirelessly in the industry and made big sacrifices for our family over many years to achieve what he has today so my family are working hard to continue to invest in the industry that we love.”
Eddie believes by participating in the Trans-Tasman Rock Lobster Congress, it will help him and his family business to form new relationships with fellow fishermen in the Western rock lobster Industry and other rock lobster industries.
“I am grateful to the Western Rock Lobster Council for giving me the opportunity to attend the Congress,” he said.
“It means so much to me as a young fisherman to learn and grow in the industry that I love.”
We look forward to working with Eddie and his fellow bursary winners further and helping grow the positive impact our young future leaders will have on our State’s iconic Western rock lobster Industry.
The $3,000 bursaries provide professional development for future leaders of the Western rock lobster Industry and target skippers and crew members who are actively engaged in fishing operations. The bursaries have been funded by Western Rock Lobster through its Industry Partnership Agreement with the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC).