Mark Dickey-Collas


I am gay and I am a fisheries scientist.//

I am the incoming Chair of the @ices_asc advisory committee and responsible for almost all fisheries science advice and much ecosystem advice in the north east Atlantic and Baltic Sea. Now with 30 years’ experience as a marine scientist and fisheries science advisor to governments and stakeholders, I proudly operate openly as a gay man, but it wasn’t always the case. Researching in remote, insular locations is common for many marine biologists. I did my PhD on the Isle of Man in the 1980s. Being homosexual on this independent rock in the Irish Sea, was a criminal offence up to 1992 and, the AIDS tragedy dominated our minds. It was a very lonely period of my life. I could not truly be myself. I came out straight after completing my PhD, aged 25. I’ve had the pleasure to live and work in The Netherlands and Denmark for the last 16 years and I’ve been joyously married 11 years. Being queer and not denying myself, did occasionally impact my career in the early years, but I am pleased with the choices made. Being accepted by western society is wonderful, but it doesn’t mean that we necessarily need to conform all of society’s norms and expectations.