Fishing association member services administrator
Before working at the local fishing association, Leslie used to spend a lot of time in water - literally - when she worked in aquaculture. She also spent 3 full seasons working with her partner (now husband) on his lobster boat, before landing in her current job. Now she has a huge job description: help fishermen with whatever they need. In practice, this often means serving as a liaison between fishermen and regulating boards, and helping them work through licensing and safety regulations. Leslie is also involved with the Coast Guard Auxiliary to further her marine safety work.
Safety on the water is Leslie’s passion right now. She explains, “Fishermen have so many other priorities and concerns they’re always dealing with, that I’m always trying to keep safety as a top priority, too.” But Leslie is always always thinking about the sustainability of the fishery itself. She’s witnessing changes like increasing operating costs, environmental changes, and other factors weighing in. The goal is to do the right thing while also protecting livelihoods. This aligns with her love for the water and being on boats. She reflects: “Being on the boat just changes your whole frame of mind. It’s calming. Hell, I used to ride the Dartmouth ferry back and forth to relieve the stress of living in the city, just so I could be near the water.”
When Leslie is told she can’t do something, she takes it as a challenge. She feels that in this day in age, it’s time to get rid of the old-school attitudes that fishing is a man’s world. She laughs as she explains, “There are women out there that are even more capable than men,” using Linda Greenlaw (the well-known fishing captain and author on the US east coast) as an example. But there are less-known examples, too. Case in point? There are women in Leslie’s area who own lobster licenses and boats, and several more husband-and-wife fishing teams.