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Gary McAneny

Fishery officer

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"I've always been a keen fisherman and diver, so I decided that I’d get into the commercial fishing industry. I had some contact with fisheries officers along the way and thought that it was a good job to get into as it was still within the fishing industry. So I jumped the fence and became a fisheries officer and I’ve been here nearly 30 years now!"

Even after all this time, it's a job that Gary McAneny remains passionate about. "I get to work on lots of issues in the industry; I take a personal interest in crayfish and scallops – that’s probably my area of expertise – and the commercial fleet I guess."

Gary suggests it's important to be in the job for the right reasons. "If you have a conservation ethic that you live by, then that’s a good motivator. Sure, you’re motivated because you’re paid and you’re enjoying your experiences, but right at the foundation of it all, if you’re passionate about the environment and the way our natural resources are being consumed, then it really helps.”

For Gary, the challenging nature of the work is another attraction. "I enjoy the little bit of danger; in many jobs you don’t really get that chance to challenge yourself. But we’re well trained – for instance in how to handcuff people. We’ve got stab-proof vests and they make you feel reasonably confident, though you never do anything really stupid; it’s only fish at the end of the day. Still, in high pressure situations it’s good to go in there, meet the challenge and come away having done your job professionally.

"It’s been a great career, and I’ve really enjoyed myself – you don’t like to say that because it sounds like you’ve just swanned around on the sea, but being a fisheries officer affords you the opportunity to get out and about on the ocean. It's great; you’re out there and you’re being paid for it!"

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