Introducing James Camarda, our next deserving recipient of one of 10 bursaries to attend the 2019 Trans-Tasman Rock Lobster Congress in Queenstown, New Zealand.
James is a fourth-generation fisherman and computer science degree student based in Fremantle. He also participated in WRL’s capacity building DECK Program in 2018.
James believes that small business is the heart of any nation with a strong economy and that communities and governments must work together to ensure existing small businesses are able to survive, as primary industries slowly become under the control of fewer and fewer players.
“Small operators are especially important in an industry such as ours, to ensure that major players are still met with competition,” James said.
“This also creates a more even spread of power and wealth, as family members often share their income and not only divide this amongst themselves, but create prosperous career opportunities for deckhands.
“It is for this reason that I hope to see many family boats still operating in the year 2030.”
James is currently studying a Computer Science degree at Murdoch University and has many years’ experience in related computing areas. He is also a young deckhand in his second year and hopes to learn more about the opportunities and the various aspects that exist within the industry that complement his skill set.
“Firstly, I hope it will illuminate how some aspects such as technology is shaping fishing industries globally,” he said.
“I am also interested in learning about the factors that affect global markets and what we should be aware of in relation to our industry.”
In an industry like Rock Lobster, James believes it is of great value for a fisherman to be skilled in at least one other employable field.
“I think it is important to be flexible and to be able to adapt in what is a dynamic and evolving industry,” he said.
“I hope to have the opportunity to continue to work in this industry and I would like to do so along with whatever other business ventures I undertake.
“This would also provide me with income throughout the periods of the year that I am not fishing.”
James said that attending the 2019 Trans-Tasman Rock Lobster Congress will be beneficial in understanding more about the industry beyond Western Australia. He said it would give him the opportunity to learn about issues that other fishing communities are facing in comparison.
“Attending this conference will grant me an alternate and informed perspective on our industry.
“It is especially important in family businesses that each member stays informed about their sector, as this is essential to success in mitigating problems and strategically planning.”
James said it will also beneficial to communicate with peers inside the fishing industry to help address common problems both politically and operationally.
“It is a terrific networking opportunity to meet unique people from varying backgrounds that can relate their different experiences across the region,” he said.
“It is important for young people to form these relationships as this will allow us to understand the perspective of others on many levels.”
We look forward to working with James 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).