Whether at sea, or onshore, in Oslo, Houston, or somewhere in the Southern Ocean, our people define who we are. Their skills and dedication continue to drive us ever forward.
Meet Christina Denberg, Quality Controller for Aker BioMarine. She is currently on board the Antarctic Endurance, our revolutionary krill vessel that pushes technological boundaries and enables more sustainable operations. Christina gives us a taste of what life is like at sea.
Can you describe what you currently do for Aker BioMarine?
I am a quality controller on board the Antarctic Endurance, a 130-meter long krill harvesting vessel. It’s my job to make sure that everything on the ship meets the standards that we have set.
How much time each year do you spend onboard a vessel?
Schedules and set timing take on a whole new meaning when you’re out at sea, as we work intensely for a certain period of time on board the vessel and then we are off. Normally, we spend two-and-a-half months on the ship, twice per year.
How did you get into this profession?
It was actually an idea from my older brother, who was also in this field. I initially thought it would be a ‘quick job’ in between other jobs and school, but I stuck with it. My brother, on the other hand, didn’t.
Are there many women working on board the vessels?
Typically, there are about 5-10% female employees working on fishing vessels.
How can you attract more women into your line of work?
I think that this profession could be attractive to people who like routine, who are comfortable working weekends, who like to have food prepared for them, and who enjoy a small but diverse community of colleagues. It’s a job that fosters comradery, teamwork, a certain gumption and work ethic. It gives you the chance to travel, experience the weather at its best and worst, and to glimpse nature in one of the rawest and most beautiful settings possible. If this describes you, whether man or woman, then I think you just might enjoy my line of work.
Did you always know that this is what you wanted to do?
I’ve always known that I wanted to work hard and play harder, and I think that’s possible in this job. Sometimes, I admit, I've worked too hard, and I need to remind myself of the importance of playing a bit more as well.
Do you get seasick?
I don't anymore, but I did the first time I was out at sea, many years ago. It was like being on a merry-go-round for two days straight. Thank goodness those days are over.
What’s a typical evening activity among crew members when at sea?
Do you have a female role model who inspires you and why?
I don’t have a ‘famous’ role model, but there is a person I really admire. Her name is Jodi Omalanz. I met her when we were both employees of American Seafoods. She was also working with QC at the time. She was always happy, positive, hard-working and showed unbiased concern for others and respect to everyone regardless of their rank or cultural background. She is now a fitness instructor near Houston, Texas and a mother of two boys.
If you could tell your 10 year-old-self one thing to inspire her about the future, what would you tell her?
Life is going to be unconventional, awesome, fantastic, and sometimes hard. Get ready for this and many more unforgettable memories.