Dr Marine Pomarède, Fisheries Scientist- A profile

Marine showing off her catch from spearfishing in the Chatham Islands, where she got a chance for some recreational fishing while there for work

11 February was the International Day of Women and Girls in Science a day dedicated to recognising the important contributions women have made in science and technology, and to encourage women and girls into pursuing a career in STEM. Fisheries New Zealand is lucky to have many women involved in scientific work and, to celebrate the day, we’ve profiled Dr Marine Pomarède, Principal Scientist in our stock assessment team.

Marine discovered a passion for science on a trip to Canada to visit her uncle when she was around 9 years old.

“While on a whalewatching tour, we saw some beluga and I wanted to understand what they were saying to each other. I didn’t necessarily want to be able to communicate with them, but just to understand their language.”

This idea stuck with Marine and led her to focus her studies on, aptly, marine science. During her Bachelor of Science degree, Marine discovered modelling, “on a computer rather than a catwalk”, which led her to a new focus of combining marine science with statistics.

In Marine’s role at Fisheries New Zealand, she leads our shellfish science, focusing on the status of shellfish stocks around the country. This involves a lot of time in front of a computer, and many online meetings with stakeholders and others in the science world, to develop and manage research programmes. While most of her work keeps her indoors, she has had the chance to get out of the office for hands-on research, including on NIWA’s Tangaroa research vessel for an acoustic hoki survey, taking part in a biomass survey of oysters in Foveaux Strait, and to a Northland beach to survey cockles and pipi to estimate their abundance and density.

“What I really love most about my work is the people. I work with scientists, fisheries managers, iwi representatives, commercial fishers and many more. The discussions are very varied but all focus on doing our best to get the best science to manage our fisheries.” Marine also has some advice for women and girls considering a career in science: “Go for it! It is challenging, exciting, rewarding, empowering, and fun! Go and talk to scientists in the fields you’re interested in to learn more about what they do. See if you can spend a day with them so you can see how they work. Do internships. Get some experience. Trust yourself.”

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