We are pleased to introduce you to Chris Williams, our next deserving recipient of one of 10 bursaries to attend the 2019 Trans-Tasman Rock Lobster Congress in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Chris currently operates out of Lancelin and has over 18 years of industry experience working as a Deckhand and Skipper. He also runs a small family fishing business in partnership with his parents, who have been involved in the industry for over 40 years.
“By 2030, I would hope to see a strong and united industry, working together with the government and the people of Western Australia, with sustainability of the fishing resource being at the centre of fisheries management decisions – allowing the industry to focus on providing the maximum economic yield to the fishers, and also the local community,” Chris said.
In 2001 Chris completed a Diploma of Marine Studies and Fisheries Management – a broad ranging course that included information on the science behind fisheries management, policy information, and practical information relating to fishing operations.
“I also participated in the Western Rock Lobster Council’s 2018 DECK Program, and I am a current member of their Fishing Operations Committee,” he said.
“These opportunities have given me the confidence to be more involved in the future decision-making processes, and have provided valuable insight into the inner workings of the Western Rock Lobster Council.”
Moving forward, Chris would like to acquire and build on the skills required to run a business efficiently and also be a part of any consultation processes relating to the management and future direction of the fishery.
In order to contribute to achieving his vision for the future of the industry, Chris continues to be actively involved in any opportunities that may arise with the Western Rock Lobster Council, and learn from those who are already sitting in elected roles.
“Making the time to attend meetings and functions has proved to be a valuable source of knowledge and a great opportunity to network with fellow fishers and industry representatives,” he said.
“Participating in the Congress will provide me with the opportunity to network with likeminded individuals, who see a bright future in fishing, and who understand that having strong national and international links with other Lobster fishers provides an opportunity to learn from the successes and trials of each other.
“There may be ideas that we can build on and bring back to the Western rock lobster fishery to apply here.”
Chris said having an effective representative body in the Western Rock Lobster Council and investing in professional development for the next generation is paramount to the success of the industry.
“Providing opportunities for the next generation of fishers to participate in professional development activities will help to ensure that the Western Rock Lobster Council moves forward with people who have the necessary skills to make sound decisions in consultation with its members.”
We look forward to working with Chris 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).