Ellen Kibblewhite – Fisher

In the summer of 2012 I had my first taste of Cray fishing off our family farm, Whangaehu in the Hawkes Bay and caught rock lobster destined for the Chinese market.


Launching our 9m alloy cat Lucy-c with 500hp was exciting, backing the old Ford county down the side of a reef with rocks and surf, parking up the tractor – then having to run down the beach, along the reef and jumping onto the moving boat with Dad at the helm – most of the time I stayed dry!


Fishing under the Cape Turnagain cliff with 100km winds would get the heart going, but as a young teen I would always wear my life jacket.


That summer was my first taste of the ocean but Dad insisted on me getting a trade. So I went off and became an Electrician for 3 years, which proved to be enjoyable, fun and challenging. Throughout those 3 years I worked on the boats on weekends and holidays.


Once I had qualified I did a 2 year winter stint up Mt Ruapehu as one of the Turoa electricians, assisting with keeping the mountain running. With summers filled with working on the boats in the lower north island, I even managed to slip in a trip around Europe.


2016-17 was another summer season fishing which gave me enough sea time to complete my SRL Skippers ticket in Tauranga, which has enabled me to be first mate on Arrow, a 20m crayfishing/wetfishing vessel that fishes between New Plymouth and Gisborne in the lower North Island.


The future for me for the next few years is working on Arrow getting sea time for my next ticket, learning my way around the engine room, electronics and the fishing world.


I enjoyed my first Federation conference this year, meeting a surprising amount of young keen faces from around NZ.



Donna Wells

By Donna Wells

Donna Wells is the Director and Owner of FinestKind Ltd. We are a New Zealand company selling seafood and sourcing quota on behalf of independent owner operators and companies.

FinestKind Limited

137 Vickerman Street,
Port Nelson, New Zealand

Phone: +64 3 545 6964
Mobile: +64 27 243 1282

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