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!
Our next bursary winner superstar is Stephen Minutillo, a Deckhand and Lobster processor based in Fremantle! Stephen is another worthy recipient of one of 10 bursaries to attend the 2019 Trans-Tasman Rock Lobster Congress in Queenstown, New Zealand.
“My vision for the industry is to solidify our status as the most sustainable and economically viable fishery in the world and to diversify our market into other areas,” Stephen said.
Stephen would like to see an accredited training institute for new workers in the industry and masters on how to run the vessel to professional standards and for there to be better understanding of safety on board the vessel in all areas, including vessel compliance.
He also believes Lobster research is important to gain better knowledge on how to preserve our iconic industry for future generations and also has ambitious ideas of an international Lobster council.
“If we could somehow set up an international Lobster council, this could go a long way in protecting the lobster industry globally for generations to come,” he said.
Stephen is highly skilled when it comes to manual labour on the deck of a working vessel. He currently holds a Master <24M and with his experience in the offshore oil and gas industry he has learnt a great deal about vessel compliance and safety.
“I have worked as a deckhand on both Lobster vessels and Tug and work vessels, servicing the oil and gas industry,” he said.
“I would love to contribute to my vision by passing my knowledge of vessel compliance and safety onto current masters.
“I believe we as a professional industry need to be proactive in this regard and get up to speed with what the oil and gas industry is doing.”\
Stephen said the skills he would like to acquire would be a better understanding of the politics involved in running the fishery.
“Knowledge is power and the more we have the better equipped we are to deal with any issues that may arise within our industry.”
Stephen said his career aspiration is working alongside his father full time for their company Fremantle Lobster. He currently works part-time at Fremantle Lobster and full time on board the fishing vessel Mareelou.
He believes bringing international knowledge to his business and his lobster boat could really help develop his family’s business further.
“We are a small company but I have aspirations on increasing its size and I would love to gain knowledge to help grow both my business and industry,” he said.
Stephen said attending the Congress will be a great networking opportunity and would be very beneficial for him and his business.
“By speaking to other industry leaders, I feel I could really learn from their experiences,” Stephen said.
“Fishing is my absolute passion, so seeing how other fisheries operate is so interesting to me.
“To meet people from other lobster industries is a great opportunity and I believe we need to all come together as a united front.”
We look forward to working with Stephen 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.
WRL loves writing about the passionate and hard-working people in our industry! We hope you love reading about them too! Look out for our next Bursary Winner profiles….6 more to go!
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).