After his Bachelor's Biotechnology Tim decided to continue with a master's Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management. During his thesis, he was introduced to the ProSea foundation, and he is currently working there as a project manager. Watch the video to get a glimpse of a day in the life of his work. Or read the full story below.
"After graduating for my master's I started working for the ProSea foundation in Utrecht. During my master thesis I became familiar with this foundation and I was inspired by the mission and work of this foundation."
ProSea believes that marine professionals (those that work at or with the sea) have a special relationship with the ocean and a special responsibility towards the ocean. They have a key role in improving the sustainability performance of their sectors, since they are ultimately the ones that have to make the decision on board. In this fast-changing world, they need to be provided with new/different knowledge and skills to enable them to make more sustainable choices."
How does your work week look like?
"Our core business is to initiate, develop and conduct trainings about marine awareness and sustainability to professionals working at sea. I mainly work on the fishery-related projects at ProSea, but also work on projects for the shipping and maritime services sector."
"One of the major projects I am currently working on is the online knowledge platform ‘Vist ik het maar’, which means ‘I fish I knew’ in English. This online knowledge platform serves two main purposes. The first goal is that it contains the educational material of the Dutch fishing schools. This material was collected, rewritten and updated by ProSea. Through the website, every school is able to access the same up-to-date material and we facilitate the exchange of knowledge and cooperation between the five fishing schools."
"The second goal of this platform is to facilitate the exchange of (scientific) knowledge from policymakers and scientists into the fisheries sector and vice versa. We try to do this through so called ‘Kennisdossers’ (knowledge files). Each knowledge file discusses a relevant topic within the (Dutch) fishing sector (e.g. landing obligation, marine litter, marine spatial planning). By organizing all sorts of additional activities around the platform, like workshops and masterclasses, we hope to make it a broadly supported and appreciated platform."
"Being a descendant from a fishing family, I recognized the importance of sharing knowledge at first hand. Every Saturday at my grandparents’ house my relatives discussed fisheries. Although there were many quarrels on quota decisions and, from their perspective, incomprehensive policy decisions, they also talked with great fascination about the ocean and the marine life."
During my master I learned that I could learn as much from them as they could learn from me. Sharing knowledge, making knowledge accessible and challenging perspectives of various stakeholders became my passion and drive. I am glad that I can do all these things at ProSea and I expect that these elements will be central throughout the rest of my career."
What are your future goals?
"Currently I am driven by two main future goals. First of all, I hope that I can contribute to making scientific knowledge more accessible to a wider audience. In general, scientists spend a lot of time on preparing and conducting research, but they spend relatively little time on spreading their knowledge and results. The responsibility of a scientist to share knowledge does not stop with the publication of a scientific paper or reports as far as I’m concerned. More attention should be paid to who can benefit from the knowledge (target group), how you can reach them (medium) and by making it freely available/accessible."
My other future goal is to develop an international sustainable fisheries model course, analogue to the Marine Environmental Awareness course developed by ProSea for the shipping sector (IMO model course 1.38, STCW). Such a model course should set a standard and, at the same time, respect and deal with the diversity in fishing (language, culture, fishing methodologies). This is a huge challenge, but I am convinced that education and the human element are essential to achieve (more) sustainable fisheries across the globe."
And last could you tell how your time at WUR helped you to get where you are now? Also, what is your advice to current students?
"At WUR I learned a lot about fisheries science, management and policy. Next to the theoretical part, my study taught me to think critically and I developed skills in report writing and project management."
My advice to current and future students would be to make optimal use of all the facilities WUR has to offer. You will benefit from it for the rest of your career."