Alice Fistr

Time in seafood industry – since 2000

What is your role in the seafood industry and how did you get involved?

My grandfather built his own fishing boat in the 1960s and became a commercial fisher for lobster, scalefish and scallops.  I feel like I’ve always had salt water in my veins and I’ve always enjoyed science.

I studied a bachelor degree in aquaculture at Flinders University and then found myself in a graduate position at AFMA in Canberra, where I went on to work in management of the Commonwealth tuna and billfish fisheries.  After a stint with a regional NRM board, I began a series of fisheries management roles in Primary Industries and Regions SA and later became General Manager of the Fisheries Policy and Management Unit.

I’ve also studied a graduate diploma in education and taught high school science and agriculture.  Most recently I’ve been a ministerial adviser to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries in the agriculture and fisheries/aquaculture portfolios.

What do you love about working in our industry?

I do love working in our industry.  The environment is always changing and the work is dynamic and challenging.  I really enjoy the problem-solving aspects of fisheries management and I’m constantly learning.

In my professional roles I’ve been able to work across all our South Australian fisheries and get to know their systems, strengths and challenges, and most importantly the people at the heart of each one.  The people I meet and work with are the most passionate I’ve ever known and, with all the frustrating and rewarding experiences we’ve shared, they have kept me hooked on this industry for so long.

Would you encourage women to follow a career in the seafood industry? Why?

It’s fantastic to see more and more women getting involved in the seafood industry and taking up leading and influencing roles.  There’s a great range of career options and an unlimited amount of work to do!  It’s so important to have a mix of skills, styles, experiences and personalities in any industry.  Diversity is a huge advantage in working through the complex challenges and unrealised opportunities of this industry and it will better position us all – the industry and the broader community – to be sustainable and prosperous.