Young talent recognised at conference 17 September

Three people have been recognised as young leaders of the seafood industry at an awards ceremony this evening.

The Seafood New Zealand conference is being held at the Rutherford Hotel in Nelson today and tomorrow and at the annual Seafood Stars Awards tonight, Zak Olsen, Cheyanne Amai, and Shalaine Jackson each took away a Young Achiever’s Award.

Zak Olsen, from Northland, is running two fishing vessels, skippering one vessel, and juggling those jobs with a huge volunteering input into the Northland community. Based in Whangarei, he is employed by Phil and Adam Clow to ensure their two fishing vessels, Tarpeena and Southern Cross are operating efficiently. Zak has also just been elected on to the Federation of Commercial Fishermen’s Executive and has completed a Young Leaders course in Australia. Zak passes his passion for the environment on to other young fishers.

Shalaine Jackson is from Nelson and the Business Manager for Guard Safety. Shalaine is putting her Master’s degree in psychology to good use by being an integral part of the MarineSafe and FirstMate initiatives that are run by Guard Safety for the commercial fishing industry.

The third recipient is Cheyanne Amai who has worked her way up in a very male-dominated industry to become branch manager of Talley’s in Westport at age 28. Cheyanne is a one-woman cheerleader for the industry on the South Island’s West Coast and her support and enthusiasm for the industry has encouraged other young people into the sector.

Seafood New Zealand chief executive, Dr Jeremy Helson, says the industry workforce is aging, many are close to retiring, and we must value the talented young people coming through.

“Zak, Shalaine, and Cheyanne’s commitment to the commercial fishing industry is great to see. They invigorate the industry, bring new ideas, and new enthusiasm and we are lucky to have them.

“While we would normally only award one Young Achiever’s Award each year, these three people are exceptional, and we need to do all we can to encourage them and others like them.

“The industry is in good hands,” says Helson.

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