Derek's cover image
Derek

Derek CROPP

Year of Award: 1987 Award State: Tasmania None > Fishing And Aquaculture
To study the hatching and culture of scallops in order to improve Australian and particularly Tasmanian scallop yields - China, Japan, Canada, New Zealand
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Derek was awarded his Fellowship while working as the Scallop Research Officer at the Department of Sea Fisheries in Tasmania. He visited key research facilities wherever he went. He also visited a range of hatchery and cage culture operations in China; several universities and a number of commercial sea ranching operations in Japan; research stations and hatcheries in Canada, where he discussed the latest algal and larval culture systems for producing juvenile scallops; and finally Golden Bay, New Zealand, to view the reseeding program and large-scale government-organised sea ranching project.

The study tour provided the most eye- opening experience of Derek’s career; it introduced him to world-leading research and development that was yet to be documented in detail and had never really been available due to commercial restrictions. The study tour also provided knowledge and hands-on experience that he brought back to Australia, for the benefit of the aquaculture industry. As well as viewing the overseas operations he delivered over 30 lectures on Australian scallop culture at host organisations.

After leaving the Fisheries, Derek worked for over 20 years as Managing Director/Principal Consultant for his personal consultancy company, Aquatech Australia Pty Ltd, established in 1988, which specialised in fisheries, aquaculture and project management. Much of his work was in managing or running R & D projects involving new species, locations or technology in all states and overseas, and the training of staff to eventually run these projects.

In 2015 he was appointed Research and Development Manager for Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative in Perth, WA – the world’s largest live lobster processor/ exporter. He had a key involvement in establishing Australia’s first live seafood holding facility in China (Guangzhou) in 2015/16. He was also the University Associate in the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania from 2015 until 2018.

Derek says, ‘My Churchill Fellowship was still the single most valuable contribution to my career and to expanding my knowledge in my field. I regularly mention to people things that I did or saw during my Fellowship and would hope that at least one of my own children is lucky enough to also gain such an invaluable experience of a lifetime.’

Nowadays he spends a lot of time travelling overseas for work (Malaysia and China in the last two years), so he enjoys his time at home when he is there. He is involved in surf lifesaving, women’s premier league soccer (managing the University team), outback travel and camping, scuba diving, DIY landscaping and house renovations.

He and his wife usually do daily walks with their dog in the bushland around their house – which all three enjoy immensely. 

Excerpt from “Bringing Knowledge Home” published by the Churchill Fellows Association of Tasmania (2016) 

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