By Roy Palmer
Published on Friday, April 17, 2009
G’day. I’m Roy Palmer, and I’ve been offered the opportunity to have my say through the SeafoodSource.com blog, so I look forward to giving you some views from “Down Under.”
My background is predominantly in the seafood post-harvest industry since 1972, so I have seen lots of changes in my time. I don’t know what it is about “change” and the seafood industry, but many of us fight any sort of change. Unfortunately in this day and age change is inevitable, and to think you are going to stand still in your industry and yet make forward progress is unwise.
Fishing is one of the world’s oldest professions. The history is fascinating. Hundreds of years ago fishermen were revered pioneers who were the heroes of their nations, but along the way that image has been tarnished.
The industry is now quite often reported as being rapists and pillagers. I guess we can all give examples of a few industry “cowboys” who had some non-thinking moments, so there is no point saying we are all pure and innocent. However, this current perception is important to address. Fishermen need to be seen as the custodians of the oceans and we need to make the profession a priority area because harvesting the ocean in an environmental sustainable way is the only way forward.
In Australia, the average age of a fisherman is 57 years and regrettably due to many reasons, not necessarily all the industries own fault, there are very few young people entering this exciting yet challenging and sometimes dangerous occupation. I’m interested in anyone’s ideas on how we can overcome this challenge?