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Fisheries Technical Officer
Environment Agency

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Matt B

00.00.04 My names Matt B. I work for the Environment Agency. I’m based at Trentside, Nottingham as a Fisheries Technical Officer. I’m here to improve river habitat, improve fish populations and also improve access for anglers and make, generally, a better environment for the fish and the anglers today. When we need to restock it’s usually following either a pollution incident where something has gone wrong and there’s been a subsequent fish loss.

00.00.31 So then we would go and respond to that and as a long term project, we’ll restock and also help improve any habitat loss that might have subsequently happened. I’ve always from being four years old I’ve kept fish and from before I can even remember, my father took me fishing so it was quite a logical career choice really.

00.00.51 When I was at school, pretty much like any other boy, I really loved playing football and cricket and all sorts of sports and things like that, but found sometimes sitting there listening about certain things not so interesting shall we say. I wasn’t always the most academic person. I was always a more of a hands-on, getting stuck in sort of person so then coming to do the A levels and needing to

00.01.16 really stick your head in the book for long periods wasn’t necessarily for me. I went to a college in Hampshire called, which is a place called Sparsholt College. I did a degree in fisheries management and agriculture which is a three year course. When I first went to college, it was the first time I properly moved away from home and I went from the North East of England to Southampton.

00.01.36 300 miles away from home, you couldn’t just ring your mother up and say, ‘Mum, can you do my washing?’, or anything like that. You had to do it yourself and to this day, it was the making of me because it gave me, it let me stand up on my two feet and look after myself basically. From every opportunity given where I wasn’t actually at college or school, I would then train, increase my CV as it were.

00.02.04 I would try and look to work on fish farms or whatever, I’d help the disabled fishing club which my uncle was part of so I’d be helping that out just for, not very much money but again, just again the experience. My father being a big influence on me from taking me out fishing from a young age and keeping fish.

00.02.32 That was a massive influence because that gave me a focus in life from a very young age and that subsequently what I’m still focused in now. I think my father’s probably quite envious that I enjoy my job so much as I’m not so sure he quite enjoyed his job so much before he retired. My dad wanted to do marine biology and his dad said, ‘No, be an accountant because that’s where the money is’, and my dad regretted to this day that he’s never done marine biology.

00.02.54 I think he’s a little bit envious but he just said to follow your dreams basically. With my own children I like to pass on the knowledge and see them fulfilling a similar sort of career and certainly enjoy the passion of angling like I do. There’s other things outside of fish as well, keen football fan and I also like socialising like any other young lad and at the end of the day you’re here once, you might as well enjoy what you’re doing and I enjoy everything that I do, work and out of work.

00.03.19 So I think it’s a perfect balance. I still see myself working within fisheries and within the Agency, may be looking for a promotion of some description by then. Where that will take me I don’t know but certainly I would like to see myself starting to work up the ladder within the Agency.

00.03.43 I would say I am very lucky because I’m doing a job I really wanted to do and I really enjoy my job and there’s very few people who say that so I’ve done what I wanted to do basically.

00.03.53 End

Matt B is a Fisheries Technical Officer for the Environment Agency. “I’m here to improve river habitat, improve fish populations and also improve access for anglers.” He says “My dad wanted to do marine biology and his dad said ‘be an accountant’, and my dad regretted to this day that he’s never done marine biology. I think he’s a little bit envious but he just said to follow your dreams”.

More information about Environment professionals

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

52%  male 
48%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Jobholders in this unit group investigate, address, and advise on a variety of terrestrial and marine environment and resource management issues, including the development and implementation of environmental policies and remedies that address the impacts of human activities and industrial processes on the environment.
A good degree in a relevant subject is normally a minimum entry qualification, and some employers will require a postgraduate qualification. Relevant work experience to complement academic qualifications is highly desirable. Professional qualifications across a wide range of areas of work are available.
  • Identifies contamination of land, air or water and assesses any adverse impact on the environment;
  • Advises on and provides solutions for mitigating the effects of such contamination;
  • Implements remediation works;
  • Carries out environment-related desk-based research and fieldwork to collect, analyse and interpret data to determine their validity, quality and significance;
  • Carries out environmental audits and environmental impact assessments;
  • Communicates scientific and technical information to relevant audiences in an appropriate form, via reports, workshops, educational events, public hearings;
  • Assists organisations to conduct their activities in an environmentally appropriate manner;
  • Implements, reviews and advises on regulatory and legislative standards, guidelines and policies;
  • Provides professional guidance to clients, government agencies, regulators and other relevant bodies, having regard for sustainable approaches and solutions.
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