Introducing Kurt Glass, one of our 10 bursary winners attending the 2019 Trans-Tasman Rock Lobster Congress in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Kurt is an experienced Deckhand based in Kalbarri and participated in WRL’s capacity building DECK Program in 2018. He has been an active participant in the Western rock lobster Industry for 12 years, so has a comprehensive understanding of the operational aspect of the industry. He also attended Wesley College and Curtin University which has provided him with a number of fundamental skills.
Kurt would like to acquire greater leadership skills and believes strong leaders are required to steer the industry in a direction that achieves longevity for generations to come.
“I am a firm believer in learning through experience and example when it comes to actively achieving better leadership skills,” Kurt said.
“Attending something as informal as a Professional Fishermen’s Association meeting, to something as sophisticated as the WRL sponsored DECK Program provides me with opportunities to network with people within the industry and listen to their personal opinions.
“It also allows me to observe those who currently possess good leadership attributes within the industry.”
Kurt said his vision for the future of the rock lobster industry has been re-evaluated in recent months, due to the State Government’s unprecedented attempt at industry nationalisation.
“I would like to see a better relationship and understanding between commercial fishers and the State Government, as well as a better public perception of the industry,” he said.
“I would also like stronger acknowledgement of property rights for commercial lobster operators and see a greater importance placed on the sustainability of the lobster stock.”
Kurt wants to remain an active participant within his family’s rock lobster operation and ideally in the near future be provided an opportunity to skipper their vessel. While he is excited about the future of his family’s fishing operation, he is concerned for what the future holds for the industry.
“The recent political turmoil that the Western rock lobster Industry has experienced has left me concerned as to what the future will hold,” he said.
“No doubt the other Rock lobster industries paid close attention, so I am particularly interested to hear their views on this subject.”
The 2019 Trans-Tasman Rock Lobster Congress will bring together lobster fishermen from all over Australia and New Zealand to share perspectives and issues related to the topic of ‘Sharing Success’.
“Ultimately success is what we all strive for, whether that is interpreted as financial return, operating sustainably, or having political stability,” Kurt said.
“I’m looking forward to gaining expert knowledge on different matters through other fishing operators, scientists and invited guest speakers.
“Hopefully by holding these Rock lobster conferences we can create a unified lobster community that can assist each other in times of need.”
We look forward to working with Kurt 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).