Cefas summer sampling

Another year, another Cefas survey. I’ve recently got back from helping out on the July survey, which I first took part in 2015, and I’m happy to say I’ve got my land legs back! For this trip we set sail from Portland and spent two weeks sampling in the eastern English Channel and the southern North Sea, going along the English and French coasts and spending a day in Belgium too. There are multiple aims for this trip, but the first and foremost is to collect high quality data for the sole and plaice stocks within the region, which can then be fed into stock advice and assessments for this area.

Having done a few surveys now, it was pretty easy to get back into the swing of things and it felt really great to get back out to sea and see some fish! The species we caught were pretty much what we expected/ what has been caught previously in other trips, including sole, plaice, brill, turbot, haddock, John dory, dab, poor cod, flounder, bib, gurnards – the list goes on! In my mind at least we seemed to catch quite a lot of turbots and brills this year, as well as lots of weever fish (not sure how this stands trends wise, I’ve only done the survey twice).  We also got some species that I hadn’t seen before – a Montagu’s seasnail (this was a fish, not a snail) which was tiny and very cute, some two-spotted cling-fish (again, cute and tiny), and lots of mantis shrimp which were fun to look at. Similarly to 2015, we also got lots of baby cuttlefish which were really, really cute and I could have watched them for hours!

I enjoyed getting a bit more involved in the benthos sampling this year too (which basically means looking at all the teeny tiny stuff that’s on the sea floor) and learning about some of the species. You certainly need very good ID skills and a specialist knowledge for that part of the sampling and it always impresses me how people on board are able to tell the difference between what looks like (to me at least) the same piece of seaweed or tiny crab. I also felt that I’ve improved on my otolithing (taking the otoliths, which are like tiny ear bones, from the fish) and maturing and sexing of fish. I’m certainly not as quick as some of the other Cefas staff but I managed to get otoliths from a 2.5cm dab this year so I gave myself a pat on the back for that one!!

Taking this information, which is done for many of the species we catch, helps to provide important insights about the status and health of the stock; for example the age structure and the spawning stock biomass (i.e. the total weight of fish in a stock that are old enough to spawn). This data is given over to ICES – the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea – who collate this with information from other surveys to generate stock advice and assessments. These assessments are then ultimately used as part of the process for determining the fishing quotas for fish stocks within the North East Atlantic region. The really cool thing about this data though (I think anyway) is that it is also freely available online! This means that not only can the data be used for the important process of stock assessments and quota setting, but also in wider scientific research regarding the marine environment and fish stocks. I myself use a range of the survey data from all around the British Isles in my work and it is a fantastic resource to use. Working on the boat is a nice way for me to give something back after using so much of this data within my own work.

After two weeks and with lots of empty sweet and biscuit packets in tow, it was time to head back and dock into Lowestoft. It was a really fun trip, despite not getting much sunny weather that I was promised! A trip to the pub helped to diminish any sad feelings of the survey being over as for me I fear this could be my last trip. As the PhD ramps up into the final stages I feel I should hang up the oilies for a while and get more comfortable in the office chair, much to my disapproval! I’ve absolutely loved spending some of my time during my studies aboard the Cefas Endeavour. She is a great ship to be on, with wonderful crew and lots of friendly Cefas staff to work and relax with. A big thank you to all who have let me on these trips (you know who you are!) – it has been amazing! So to finish, have a look at some of the cool species we caught – I didn’t take as many photos this year given I already have lots of pictures from previous surveys, but I thought I’d share some more anyway!

 

 

Fresh perspectives on fisheries science: attending my first social science conference

Earlier this month I got the opportunity to go to the MARE conference in Amsterdam. This marine event that has long been on my calendar since I started my PhD and finally this year I got the chance to go! I’m so glad I did – it was a really friendly, interesting and fun conference which has left me inspired and with a new energy to get analysing all of my interview data!

The theme of the conference was ‘Dealing with Marine Mobilities’, so just a slightly broad remit! As such, it exposed me to a number of new topics, some of which I had very little experience of. A few particular highlights for me included hearing about modern slavery in the fishing industry from Prof Christina Stringer, being taken aboard European cargo-ships through the story telling of anthropologist Johanna Markkula, being told about the role of drama and dance in connecting communities to their past maritime heritage, as well as hearing about the psychological coping mechanisms Alaskan fishermen use whilst at sea.

The range and breadth of the conference was inspiring whilst at times also overwhelming – there were so many interesting sessions which inevitably couldn’t all be attended! I focused most of my attention to fisheries sessions given it’s my main research area, but I also attended a few outside of my own remit. I myself spoke in one of the ‘Coastal threats and vulnerability’ sessions to talk about my research that I have been undertaking regarding UK fishermen’s perceptions of climate change and its potential future impact on fisheries in the south-west UK region. I admit I was a bit nervous – it was my first 15-minute talk at an international conference and I wasn’t entirely sure how to pitch it given that I’m not a social scientist and haven’t attended a social science orientated conference before. However, it went really well and I got some useful feedback and ideas that I am hoping will help take my research forward!

Some of the other sessions that I attended were run by other researchers from Exeter University. One of my supervisors Rachel Turner, alongside Lucy Szaboova, held a great session surrounding ‘Health and the hidden vulnerability in fishing communities’. A range of talks in this session with case studies from Cornwall, North and North-West Ireland and Australia demonstrated the importance of understanding the health of fishermen, both physical and mental, and how this can be tackled. Discussions surrounded the culture of silence that exists within many fishing communities regarding health issues, particularly mental health, the accessibility of health care for fishermen who often work difficult and long hours, and the perspectives from which we can view these issues e.g. from wellbeing or economic viewpoints.

Carole White of UEA and Madeleine Gustavsson of Exeter University ran a session entitled ‘A future for fishing? Intergenerational perspectives on social (im)mobilities and fishing identities’. I found this session particularly thought provoking in part because it emerged as a theme within my own work with fishermen and the wider industry in Brixham. Currently there is a lack of recruitment into the fishing industry in many parts of the globe, and the talks at this session helped to explore current trends, some of the reasons behind this and what initiatives there are or could be developed to help address these issues.

Overall I found this a really great conference, particularly as an early career researcher due its openness and supportive atmosphere. Some other reflections I’ve had can be summed up in my typical blog post list style:

  • The marine environment is pretty complicated and has lots of stakeholders! Obvious, and I kind of knew this already, but getting out of the fisheries bubble for a few days made me realise that lots of other industries rely on the marine environment. I’ll leave the marine spatial planning to someone else though I think….!

 

  • Social scientists are a fun and friendly bunch. I was a bit nervous about attending as I felt that I might be a bit out of place as an ecologist, but I soon felt at ease. I particularly enjoyed the boat ride winding through Amsterdam’s canals to reach the conference on the first day – great ice breaker!

 

  • There are many research perspectives that can be harnessed to approach similar problems. I often am guilty of thinking from my ecological perspective, but it was really refreshing to be exposed to the ways other researchers are thinking about and addressing similar research questions. I guess the challenge is utilising all of these in the best way to make effective change!

 

  • Social scientists (incl. (and not limited to) anthropologists, sociologists, human geographers etc) are really great storytellers. Something that really stood out to me was the way people talked about their research – there was much more emphasise on the narratives and wider story of the research people had undertaken. So natural scientists take note! Stories, experiences and narratives are much more compelling and engaging than simple research messages (I think at least).

I think I’ve rambled on enough now, suffice to say it was a great conference and I would encourage others, including those with non social science backgrounds, to attend. Here’s to 2019!

Some self reflections in the Stedelijk Museum after the conference – would recommend a visit!

 

Summer fun at Brixham trawler race

So earlier this month I went to Brixham trawler race! What is that I hear you cry? Well, to sum it up, it’s pretty much a race in the bay between Brixham and Torquay where the trawler boats from Brixham go out, have a race round, and then come back for a BBQ and lots of booze! I managed to win a competition to go out on a huge Dutch trawler called the Arandjan, who had come over specifically for the race, and even had a live band on the boat after we docked! I invited my friend to come with me and we had the best day – the weather was perfect, everyone was in high spirits and we ate and drank till we were merry. We didn’t win but we still had fun!

Here’s some pictures from the race. You can see drone footage of the race here

 

Fieldwork diaries volume 3: learning what fisheries are really about

Well I did it! After almost 5 months of fieldwork I have finally finished. The last interview has been written up and transcribed and now there is just the small task of analysing all of this awesome information. I can honestly say that this fieldwork has been the best thing I’ve done in my PhD. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been hard work and I’ve been pretty anxious about it at times, but I have learnt SO much and have met truly lovely people. From the fishermen to vessel owners, the fish ‘n’ chip shop owners to the boat managers, all have been enthusiastic, passionate and brilliantly honest. I couldn’t have hoped for more.

Looking back, when I set out doing this fieldwork I hadn’t really got a full understanding of fisheries and their importance. Sure I’d met a few fishermen and been out on their boats, and I’ve visited fishing villages around the UK on various summer holidays and watched the boats as I’ve eaten an ice cream. I’ve also read textbooks about fisheries, studied them during my undergraduate and masters degrees, and now actively do research on them. But I didn’t really know what fisheries were truly about until I started this fieldwork, and really I’ve only just scratched the surface. It’s so much more than fish. It’s communities, livelihoods, family, friendship. It’s the waking up at silly o’clock to set out on a fishing trip, risking life and limb to try and catch enough fish to pay your wages to support your family. It’s persistence, determination, sheer doggedness at going day after day, week after week, often on your own and sometimes with little financial return. I remember someone saying that Brixham fishermen were tenacious, gritty hunter gatherers of the sea. I think they were right.

It’s this community and heritage that I have most enjoyed getting to know these past months. Brixham is built upon fishing; the industry is woven into its history and way of being. Anyone you speak to or come across in Brixham has some connection to the sea and its fishermen; an anecdote about their grandfathers’ adventures on the old Brixham sailing trawlers, tales of bountiful fishing trips with baskets full of black gold, a eulogy of a loved one sadly lost at sea. Fishing is in many ways the lifeblood of Brixham. Without it it would be a very different place.

This sense of community has been wonderful to witness and be a small part of. From the early morning jokes and teasing in the fish market to the chitchat in cafes throughout the day, the group discussions and conversations at the quayside to debates in the pub. Everyone knows everyone here, whether that be a good or bad thing! There is a big sense of camaraderie, people are willing to help each other out, and they are proud and passionate about what they do. People want a sustainable industry, they hope for a new fishing generation to get involved, and wish for good times ahead.

This passion is infectious. It gives me optimism. I think we too often receive negative stories about the industry, of stocks overfished beyond their means. Whilst this is true for many, there are positive stories to be told and many of these fishermen are actively working to be more sustainable. I’ve been told about initiatives such as Project 50%, Discardless and Fishing for Litter. Causes for some #oceanoptimism I’d say. People have confided in me their hopes and fears for the future of fishing. They want a sustainable industry with thriving fish stocks and happy fishermen. So do I. There is still the need it appears, despite age-old lamenting, for scientists, fishermen and managers to talk and work together on issues to achieve these aims, putting biases aside. Easier said than done I know, but this issue of communication came up time and time again throughout my time here.

You’re probably reading this and thinking that I am romanticising this industry and my time spent in Brixham. Maybe I am a bit. But, sometimes I think we need to. Being a scientist working on fisheries, we can get caught up in the quotas and fish and money and sectors. Whilst obviously important, there’s more to it than that. Fisheries are about people and heritage, community and friendships, and people’s interconnectedness with the sea and Mother Nature that few are lucky enough to have. I hope that I can continue to be involved with the fishing industry throughout my research and beyond – I am hooked.

So. To finish. All I can really say is a thank you to everyone that I met and who helped me with this work. Thank you for welcoming me, for your honesty and showing me what it means to be part of a fishing community. To put it simply, it has been a wonderful time. Now it’s time to persuade some people to let me on their boats…

Finally, here are some snaps of my final few weeks in Brixham and a trip out cuttlefishing (thanks Gary!)

Finishing off fieldwork with a well deserved glass of wine and some grilled mackerel!

Fieldwork diaries volume 2: Am I a local yet?!

So, another month down and I’ve almost got to my target of interviewing 30 fishermen! Spending week in, week out down here, I’m starting to feel like a bit of a local in Brixham – a coveted title that I’m sure I won’t properly achieve but I certainly feel like I know the town pretty well by now! This fieldwork seems to have gone quickly whilst also at times painfully slowly. I started in January in the depths of winter when most of the fleet was tied up at the quay and fishermen were despairing over when they could next get out. Gradually the weather has ebbed away into sunshine and calmer winds, and now the true beginnings of summer seem to be on their way (fingers crossed!). The kiosks are open, ice creams are being served and the high street is buzzing. I have slowly fallen in love with Brixham and the people in it.

But gosh, it’s been a hard slog. The concept of social fieldwork doesn’t seem too difficult when you start off, it’s just talking to people right?! But as I alluded to in my last blog post, and will again now, social fieldwork is hard work! Finding people and pinning them down is a constant up-hill battle, and at times there have been days on end where I have sat in cafes after many rejections anxiously wondering if I’ll ever reach my target. But equally, it’s been extremely rewarding and I absolutely love it. With a bit of persistence and an open mind, the stories I have been told, the people I have met and the things I have been able to see and experience have been brilliantly fascinating and eye opening.

So, as now seems to be custom for my blog posts these days, here’s another list of things I’ve learnt along the way.

1. You drink ridiculous amounts of tea and coffee

I mean, I’m an academic so I drink a lot of caffeine anyway. But during this fieldwork I have drank so much tea I may as well just have it in an IV drip hooked up to my arm.

2. It’s really unpredictable and you’re never sure where you stand

People are difficult creatures to work with, and fishermen are no different. Some weeks I’ve had one interview, other weeks I’ve had six. It’s hard to know exactly how your day or week is going to go and how many people you’ll manage to talk to, which makes planning a bit difficult. You just have to go with the flow, drink more tea (or gin) and just keep pestering people.

3. It’s tiring

Seems a funny one to state, and perhaps surprising given a lot of the time it’s just talking to people in cafes. But interviewing is a totally different thing compared to a normal conversation with someone and it can be very mentally draining. I didn’t expect it to be so tiring, so for anyone reading this about to embark upon social fieldwork, beware!

4. Everyone learns who you are and what you do 

So the thing is, if you hang out in a small town all week, every week for more than a month you start to get to know everyone in that town. Which is great, because everyone I’ve met so far has been really nice. But it’s also a bit disconcerting at times when people come up to you and say things such as ‘I’ve heard about you…’ or, more commonly on the fish quay (in a jokey way, I hope) ‘Oh bloody hell not you again!’ It’s all fun and games going through the initiation of becoming part of the furniture and a Brixham local (a coveted title which I will probably never achieve).

5. It’s a bit of an emotional rollercoaster

Like with anything I guess, some days are great and I have the best time. Other days are really hard, particularly if you have a difficult interview or don’t manage to get anybody to talk to. Being able to keep going and push on is really the only way to get through. Gin or cider (or any alcoholic beverage really) often helps.

6. You become a grade A stalker 

Unintentionally, I’ve ended up basically stalking a number of people who I know I really need/want to talk to but as yet don’t know them. It sounds creepy but I wait for these boats to come in by tracking them on marinetraffic.com, and then I further stalk them by watching the quay and walking round hoping to bump into them. In any other context I would seriously question my behaviour but in this it seems perfectly legit. Anything in the name of research, right??

7. People surprise you with their generosity and interest

Some people have quite frankly been an absolute pleasure to meet and talk to. They have been so generous with their time and willingness to share their knowledge, which has been great! I’ve also been given cups of tea, fish, pictures and drawings, trips on boats in addition to countless nuggets of information. Those moments are special.

8. The local cafe becomes your office 

I have one cafe where I continuously work now. I love it. I know the staff and the regular customers and even their dogs. Going back to Exeter is going to be difficult as there won’t be a continuous stream of tea, cake and unsuspecting fishermen walking through the door all the time.

9. You become good at distilling your science into 20 second bitesize chunks

As I wander up to a boat trying to find the skipper, I know that I only have a limited amount of time to try and get that person to be interested in what I have to say and convince them to take part in an interview. Inevitably I have had to learn to distill my scientific research into what is basically a sales pitch.

I’m not entirely sure how much longer I have left of my fieldwork as there are still a few particular boats I’d like to talk to but the fleet is now much harder to reach given the weather is better. Admittedly, I am also in no desperate rush to get back to the office – whilst I’m keen to get down to analysing all this information, I’m also really enjoying meeting so many different people and hearing their stories. Plus the ice cream is pretty good here! I suspect I’ll be done in the next few weeks, so obviously now I’m making sure to also take lots of pictures of this lovely town. Some are below!

Fieldwork diaries volume 1: Foraying into the social science world

The last few months I’ve started doing my social fieldwork down in Brixham which has consisted of me interviewing fishermen and other relevant stakeholders in the industry. It’s my first time doing this sort of thing and it has certainly been an eye opening experience so far! Social science is a whole other ball game compared to the data crunching, statistical modelling work I’ve been doing over the past few years, so it’s been both a refreshing change whilst also a challenging learning curve. Overall I’m really enjoying the experience – I’m learning loads of new things and insights about UK fisheries that quite frankly you’d never learn from a textbook, I’m meeting some really lovely people, and also managing to get some pretty cool information (I hope at least!) at the same time. Sure there have been a few ‘interesting’ moments shall we say, but overall I’m loving getting out of the office, into the ‘real world’ and pretending to be a social scientist.

As I enjoy a list, here are some initial things I’ve realised so far:

1. Turns out interviewing is actually kind of hard

I mean, I never thought it was going to be easy, but interviewing definitely requires very specific skills that I’m still trying to get better at. A few things spring to mind, for instance being able to know when to get people to expand on topics if you think they have more to share, getting people to even open up in the first place, being able to prompt but not in too much of a leading way, and being able to subtly stop people talking for the sake of not letting them get fatigued after the first few questions! It’s a bit trickier than it seems.

2. You find yourself clutching cakes and looking desperate whilst walking around a fish quay, and inwardly at times question your life choices

Some fishermen I’ve been introduced to via others or had their contact details given to me to ring up. But I’m increasingly finding that the best way to find people to interview is to walk round the quayside and just say hello and offer cake. It was pretty daunting at first (and to be honest I still find it so) but actually on the whole most people are pretty alright with you once you’ve explained who you are (and convinced them you aren’t some ‘greenie’ with a hidden agenda…)

3. Paper diaries become your best friend

I thought I was like, so over paper diaries. I mean I have an online calendar that links with all my gadgets. Turns out they’re pretty useless when you are on the phone to someone with no computer and only a pen, but need to plan when you’re going to fit them in with the other people you already have lined up. Paper diaries for the win.

4. Ditto dictaphone

If I lose this then my field notes alone really aren’t going to help that much (Note to self: improve on this). Writing and taking notes whilst trying to conduct an interview is quite hard!

5. You start to become obsessed with boats and where they are and when they’ll be back

I clutch my vessel list for approximately 50% of my time whilst I’m down in Brixham, frantically checking what boats are at the quay and who I can try to interview next. And forget facebook stalking, it’s all about tracking boats on Marinetraffic.com. It doesn’t help that every time I speak to a fishermen they add a new boat to the list of people I should talk to.

6. Finding a good café is like hitting the jackpot

A café where you can interview people, where fishermen hang out (and so you can sneakily creep up on them and ask for an interview), where you can work and transcribe interviews and also have a secret toilet cry when things get stressful is a god send. The best give you free tea too.

7. Persistence and ‘ballsiness’ are attributes that will serve you well in this game…

Some people are trickier to interview than others. Or to pin down in general. On constant repeat in my head: keep at it girl, one day you will speak to all the fishermen in the land and discover all of life’s mysteries and then you can go home and eat cake and have a gin.

8. For a fisheries ecologist working in a seaside town, you are extremely vulnerable to spending all your money on buying seaside whimsical items

I have already bought mermaid postcards, a decorative glittery whale and fish tea towels (and no I certainly have not given my number to the shop owner to call me when the new shellfish design comes in).

9. Your phone contact list becomes full of numbers from a demographic that you never really thought you would get familiar with

Middle aged men were never a demographic I thought much about. But now, well. It’s a different story

10. The ability to forward plan is extremely useful

The fact that fishermen go to sea for often days at a time means that being able to have enough other people to interview in the days others won’t be around is pretty much essential if you are to actually get round to interviewing anybody. I failed at this at the start but I think am now getting better (of course I owe it all to my magical PAPER diary).

11. Getting out and talking to people about your research is actually pretty fun

Not everyone agrees with what I’m doing, and why, but it’s certainly interesting and fun to talk about my work with people who are actually in the industry upon which my research is based. Sure it’s been a bit frustrating at times, but I think generally I’m pretty lucky to get to go and do this. Plus I’ve convinced some of the guys to take me out on their boats, so double win!

So there we have it. Currently I’m just off halfway in terms of people I need to interview. Which is ok, I think. Could have done a little better perhaps but it’s going in the right direction. Hats off to the social scientists who do this regularly – I’m rapidly learning a whole different kind of skill set that I guess you don’t really get to develop when you sit at a computer looking at a statistical model all day. Who knows what else I’ll learn, hopefully something about not spending all your money on frivolous items and buying multiple cups of tea for anyone who faintly looks like a fisherman….

Stay tuned for the next instalment!

2016 in pictures

To end the year I thought I’d challenge myself to pick my 12 favourite moments from 2016, as let’s face it it’s been a pretty mad year where it’s difficult to remember the good things that have happened. Plus, I think it’s good to review the year and remind myself what I’ve done and achieved, even if at times it may feel like I haven’t got much further with progressing towards completing ‘The Thesis’.

Last year I retold my PhD year through internet memes, and to be honest the story has been much the same this year. So this time instead I thought I would pick 12 of my favourite photos from the year, one for each month, and share them with you all.

Whilst 2016 has been a truly bizarre year where I have wanted to press the restart button multiple times, it’s comforting to know that I’ve had a lot of fun this year despite some of the ups and downs that have happened.

January

Ok, so I’m cheating here. This photo is definitely personal rather than fish/PhD related. BUT in my defence I took hardly any photos in January because I was writing my literature review the whole time. The only exciting thing that happened was a family holiday to Austria skiing, which was a welcome relief from writing and a good chance to get away for a bit!

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February 

Another somewhat quiet month of writing and putting together the beginnings of my interviews for my social fieldwork. February is one of my favourite months mostly because it has pancake day, i.e the best day of the year after birthday and christmas. This year I tried a marine themed pancake, which worked out great/badly depending on your perspective…

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March

March saw me return to the Cefas Endeavour for another research survey in the western English channel. I had a great time and it was fab to get out of the office after months of desk work. I discovered a new fish species I had never heard about before, which instantly made it into my top 3 favourite fish – the Couch’s bream. I took far too many photos on this trip and had a tough time deciding on one for this month. But I think this had to be it – the time I sang to a cod we’d just caught.

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April

A return to the office and lots of data analysis generated a yearning for sea life again. As such, my officemates obliged in some office fishing to help pass the time. Shout out to my office pals who always help to put a smile on my face.

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May

This month was a bit manic as I recall, with two training courses (GIS and social science methods), a workshop which I helped to organise, and a conference! No surprise I didn’t spend much time in Exeter. 10 of those days I was in Brest, France attending an ICES course and conference, where I got to meet some great people and hear some fantastic science, which all made it a very special week.

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June

June was spent mostly catching up with work and also trying to plan my trip to Brazil, which I found out I had been accepted to attend in late May. I did however manage to fit in a short weekend away to Ireland with some old school friends, where I had the chance to meet a very large fish.

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July

July saw me hitting the data analysis hard in an attempt to wrap some things up before heading to Brazil at the end of the month. I also got the opportunity to go out mackerel fishing (using handlines) with Aaron who is also part of the Sole of Discretion cooperative that I’ve been involved with. It was a great day and lovely to see such a sustainable fishery in operation.

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August

So this month has to be the best month of year. I got to go to the No.1 place on my bucket list – Brazil! A whole month traveling, meeting amazing people and seeing amazing places, topped off with a great summer school full of fisheries science at the end. Choosing one photo is far too hard!

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September

Back to reality this month, attempting to finish off my modelling work and catch up with work. A productive month however and also the chance to attend two fish festivals – FishStock in Brixham and the mussel festival in Exmouth. Both very yummy events!

Mussels in Exmouth

October

This month also saw me confined mostly to the office and to be honest, getting a bit stressed – pressure was on to complete analysis for my thesis chapter and get out interviewing! The weather was also lovely this month so I managed to go for a few cycle rides in the evening after work with friends to help recharge the batteries.

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November

Amidst the panic of thinking ‘where has this year gone?!’ I got out interviewing and had some trips to Brixham to start the next few chapters of my PhD. I love this part of my project and making it more ‘real world’ focused, so I’m excited for the months ahead. I also went to the lovely Clovelly herring festival, which was just as quaint and olde-worldy as you could imagine.

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December 

Wow, another year over! What a year. I’ve pinched myself on multiple occasions when I think about the cool stuff I got to do and the truly amazing and inspiring people I have met along the way. The last month saw me go to the British Ecological Society’s annual meeting, which never ceases to stop putting a smile on my face. Plus, I got to meet Daniel Pauly which was pretty awesome!

Meeting Daniel Pauly at the British Ecological Society!

So, that’s 2016 wrapped up! I’m excited for what 2017 will bring!

🙂