Case study - Carly Daniels, Padstow National Lobster Hatchery
Carly Daniels studied marine biology at the University of Plymouth and volunteered at the National Lobster Hatchery (NLH) as part of her degree project. This sparked her interest in lobster conservation, which has led her to becoming the hatchery's senior researcher. Her passion continues to grow and she is currently leading Europe's largest lobster research project.
Carly has been working with the NLH since 2005. "I have always had a natural curiosity around the marine environment. There's a fascinating array of life-forms that need to be protected and working with the NLH opened my eyes to the ways in which fisheries and scientists can work together to secure the future of the seafood industry," explains Carly.
"During my time at the University of Plymouth, I realised how important the seafood industry is to the survival of coastal communities. The NLH is a pioneer in marine conservation research and I am lucky to be part of a team where my passion for preserving our coastal heritage is shared."
After graduating, Carly noticed that the marine industry was very competitive. She decided that the best way to prove herself and secure a job in the sector was to start as a volunteer and use the knowledge gained from her degree to drive her career forward.
Carly said: "I can see how many young women entering the sector could be intimidated by the work environment and perceive it as a male dominated field, but I myself have never let this hold me back. Hopefully businesses can look at myself and other women in the sector as inspiration to encourage a more diverse work force.
"To get where I am today, I took on many volunteering roles. I would advise anyone interested in the seafood industry to volunteer first, it's a great way to test the water and gain some practical experience. Progressing at the NLH has allowed me to publish scientific articles, which have established an international reputation for the hatchery's work around lobster research.
"I think more women should consider the seafood industry as there are so many different jobs across the sector from manual work to scientific research roles. I don't think there's any other industry that offers the same amazing variety of positions and opportunities."
Carly feels there are still challenges to overcome. "It may be that it is the physical nature of the industry that has led it to becoming more male dominated - however, this is starting to change and I am seeing more women entering the industry year on year.
"I think it's important that businesses take notice of what women can bring to the sector and make sure they have the best people safeguarding the industry. There is an equal number of women and men working at the hatchery and we really feel like the world is our oyster - or Lobster!".
"I'd encourage women interested in any aspect of the marine and seafood sector to get involved in the industry. It's a wonderful sector to be part of and throughout my 13 years in the field, I have met so many amazing and driven individuals."