After gaining an HND in sports development and travelling to America to gain experience in an outdoor working environment, Katherine decided to return home to the Isle of Skye, thereafter beginning a career at Mowi.
What inspired you to become involved in aquaculture?
My very first time out on a salmon farm was my very first day on the job. Although it was something completely new to me and didn’t really know what to expect I wouldn’t want to be working anywhere else now. I think having the Scalpay site so close to home was a deal breaker for me, living and working in such a pretty area of Scotland is hard to turn down. The opportunities Mowi gives to their staff and the different pathways you can take is another reason why I’ve chosen a career in aquaculture.
Briefly describe your aquaculture career
I only started working at Mowi as a farm technician at the beginning of this year. I joined the Scalpay site just before they started harvesting out the salmon, so I did have to get stuck in and learn the process of panel grading and harvesting early on. I’ve recently taken on the cleaner fish side of things out on our site, which is really interesting and has given me an extra responsibility on top of our daily tasks which are usually done by the whole site staff.
Which individuals or organisations in aquaculture have you found particularly inspirational?
I’ve met lots of different people within the industry within my short spell at the company most of which have been out on sites. I think that my own manger, Sarah, is a great role model to have - not just at our site but in the industry as a whole; she’s always there to lend a hand and showing me how things are done.
How important has networking been to your career?
I think in aquaculture as a whole, networking is an important tool to have. Although I haven’t been here for long, I’ve met so many different people, it’s like its own little community where everyone seems to know everyone. Within my career, networking is already an important part as it keeps you up to date with all that is going on within the industry and helps you keep an eye on any opportunities that come up.
During your career, have you noticed inequalities in the sector?
I haven’t noticed anything as of yet, I think the industry in evolving all the time making everything more accessible and achievable for everyone.
What is your proudest aquaculture related achievement to date?
My proudest achievement so far is gaining my day skipper ticket. Not coming from a boating background before completing the course did make it challenging in some respects, which I think makes me even happier to have achieved it first time.
What advice would you give someone (man or woman) looking to start a career in the aquaculture sector?
Just go for it, get stuck in and work hard. There is a lot of things to take in at the beginning and no day is the same. But that is the most enjoyable thing about it, you are always learning and improving. Ask loads of questions and take all the opportunities that are thrown at you.Read more interviews