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Sean Reid

Marine Farm Supervisor


A year and a half ago, Sean Reid was working as a self-employed plasterer during winter, and shooting goats for the Department of Conservation in summer. However, health issues convinced him it was time for a change of job, so when he saw a position as a marine farm worker advertised in the paper, he applied.

“I was sick of plastering because I was getting a sore back. Also I like the outdoors and working with my hands and using my head to solve problems.

"I saw aquaculture as a growing industry. I think the only sustainable fishing is fishing like this.”

Sean says his dedication to the job and willingness to learn saw him quickly progress from general worker to supervisor. “I read the manual, and read it again, and read it again. I started out at another farm and was then promoted to here. So you can progress quickly if you put your mind to it, and knuckle down and learn the ropes.”

As well as the day-to-day responsibilities of a marine farm shift worker – such as cleaning and repairing nets – Sean has a variety of managerial duties. “I have to co-ordinate different things – co-ordinate barges and feed deliveries, and solve any problems. I also organise the guys cleaning nets, diving or fixing ropes; maybe the harvesters need something done. I generally oversee everything.”

Sean lives on a barge attached to a salmon farm in the Marlborough Sounds and, like the other eight shift workers at the farm, works week on, week off.

He says that one of the great attractions of the job is having every second week off to spend with his children. “I have two kids – one’s seven and one’s three. At the moment I get real quality time with them. And when I'm here for the week I can really concentrate on the farm. It’s like I’ve got two lives.”