Introducing Michael Butcher, our next deserving recipient of one of 10 bursaries to attend the 2019 Trans-Tasman Rock Lobster Congress in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Michael, a proud father of three young kids, left school aged 15 to work as a deckhand. He worked on two different boats before gaining his skippers ticket aged 20, when he began skippering his father’s boat ‘Wahoo’. This made Michael one of the youngest skippers on the WA coast!
In 2013 Michael began his own company Kagrana Fishing Co and he has been Share Fishing with his father’s company ever since. He is also a well-respected member of the Dongara-Port Denison community, being highly involved within the community and school, as well as being the local Fire Captain for the area.
“I have great passion and enthusiasm for the Western rock lobster fishing industry and it was always my dream as a child that I would join the family business and become a skipper,” Michael said.
“My vision for the future of the industry is for it to continue its works towards sustainability, secure access rights for all fishermen, and I would also love to see more younger generation fishers getting involved.”
Michael has been an active member of the Dongara Professional Fisherman’s Association Committee for over 10 years and regularly attends workshops and courses that help him gain knowledge and upskill, such as WRL’s DECK Program.
Since becoming a skipper Michael has actively promoted good work practices to support safety and sustainability of the industry.
“I have also taken on the role of mentor for future generations of fishers by having taken on several work experience students in the past few years,” he said.
“Over the coming years, I would like to still be skippering and hopefully expanding the business in preparation for when my kids are old enough to join the company, so that I can give them a good start in the industry.
“I also hope to have the chance to join WRL’s Fishing Operations Committee to help and assist in the planning and promotion of the future of the Industry.”
Michael said he sees attending the 2019 Trans-Tasman Rock Lobster Congress as an opportunity for networking and to meet new like-minded people so they can share knowledge and learn from each other.
“I hope to gain helpful knowledge and tips from other rock lobster fishing industries which can be taken back and implemented in our own industry and operational practices, assisting with the quality and sustainability for the future.”
We look forward to working with Michael 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).