Justine Arnold—marine biologist

Justine Arnold is a production manager at a commercial yellowtail kingfish aquaculture operation. 

justine arnold

I’ve been immersed in the maritime industry my entire life. 

My father is a cray fisher at the Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia where my family lived for four months every year and my sisters and I attended school.  

We always wanted to go for a ride in the carry boat during school lunch breaks and on the weekends we would go to work with Dad on the cray boat.  

The carry boat brought supplies to the island two times a week from the mainland and took the fresh catch back to town.   

The remaining months of the year we lived in Geraldton, a mid-west coastal town in WA known for its cray-fishing industry and constant wind! 

Your current role and brief background in the maritime industry 

My current role is production manager at Indian Ocean Fresh Australia in Geraldton, a commercial yellowtail kingfish aquaculture operation. 

I started out as a fish feeder and deckhand, studied for my Bachelor of Marine Science and Environmental Management, completed my marine science honours, then worked my way up to my current role.  

I oversee farm operations, including health monitoring of the fish, environmental monitoring and feeding, diving, cage maintenance and fish husbandry.  

I gained a Restricted Coxswains qualification in 2008, which was re-issued as a Coxswain Grade 2 when AMSA reissued tickets and then upgraded in 2016 to a Coxswain Grade 1 qualification. 

How did you become interested in your career? 

I grew up around the ocean, so I always knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing something involving the ocean.  

I suffer seasickness quite badly so I knew a life solely on the ocean wasn’t for me.  

My marine science degree and current job allows me to spend half of my time on the ocean and half of my time on land. I am very lucky! 

What do you enjoy most about your job? 

I love working on the ocean! No two days are the same. There is so much life teeming under the surface and I also enjoy observing the power of the ocean – it’s unforgiving and relentless at times.  

There is a respect that you develop for the ocean when working closely with it. You have no control over what it does, you just have to roll with it!

What motivates you each day?

The flat glassy calm, crystal clear visibility days that get me through particularly on the rough, windy, sloppy, choppy days. 

Any tips for others interested in your career? 

Believe in yourself! 

Take every opportunity provided to you with both hands and hold on for the ride.

What would you say to women interested in joining the maritime industry?

I would love to see more women working on boats!

Do it, challenge yourself, try something different, you can do anything you put your mind to.

How do you unwind?

Nothing outrageous, walking down the beach, playing Frisbee with my dog. Or a nice cold gin and tonic.

Your favourite maritime song?

I’m on a boat by The lonely island

What’s your favourite lighthouse?

Point Moore Lighthouse in Geraldton! My local lighthouse. 

Last updated: 

Tuesday 3 May 2022