Pablo Escobar-Flores

Position: NIWA fisheries scientist, Voyage leader

I was invited to attend a voyage on a French vessel East of Madagascar once. We got to travel around the Indian ocean getting acoustic data, and we travelled to the Sub-Antarctic islands and land on them to see elephant and leopard seals and penguins. After landing on the islands we would sail for another week or so before landing on the next one. It was a good voyage to be able to do touristy stuff. They also didn’t have a dry ship policy so we could drink wine at meals and eat fresh bread! They also had a cheap bar.

I’ve been working permanently at NIWA for two and a half years working but started working with NIWA about five and a half years ago through my Masters and doctorate studies. As a fisheries scientist I look at acoustic and trawl surveys collecting and analysing data. As the voyage leader for this survey I get to run the survey and analyse acoustic data for studies on mesopelagic fish. I have a particular interest in mesopelagic fish and using acoustics for their biomass assessment.

My favourite thing about the job is the diversity of the work – from sampling fish and the fish biology to acoustic data collection and the opportunities to lead voyages. We also get to participate in data analysis, report writing, and getting involved in international science conferences.

For those considering a career in fisheries science, take any opportunities you can to gain experience, finish your undergrad and get some work experience before getting into postgrad studies. Also make sure you are 100% ready before going into PhD work. If you want to make money, do something else!

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Above: Melanie with Pablo examining a Long-nose chimaera.