Why I created this site
It's not easy for me to answer the common question "What do you do?" As a free-spirited freelancer, my roles and commitments aren't neatly packaged in the format of a typical "job." It's awkward to explain how the pieces of my life fit together and come apart in a continuous cycle of discovery and reinvention. So I created this website to explain it for me!
My life has revolved around commercial fishing since the year 2000, when, in between stints at college, I found myself ascending one of Valparaiso, Chile's many colorful hills. There, I stumbled into the offices of the Confederación Nacional de Pescadores Artesanales de Chile, where I met some artisanal fishermen who gave me a glimpse into their lives. Although it may sound fanciful, that chance encounter caused me to fall deeply and irrevocably in love with the ideas of earning a livelihood from the fruits of the sea and working alongside other fishermen to defend a way of life held dear by all.
Eventually returning to college, and then graduate school, I've found myself equally drawn to research, education, and advocacy on fisheries issues as I have to the act of fishing itself. I've had the joy of working on several Rhode Island gillnet, lobster, and oyster farm boats, dabbling with small-scale shellfishing harvesting in Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island's coastal salt ponds, spending nine summers as a salmon cannery machinist in Dillingham, AK, and working on several Alaska-based salmon gillnetters and seiners. In between, I try to do what I can to educate the public about local fisheries and support other fishermen in their efforts to sustain our fish-based livelihoods.
My personal theory of change is based on applying my passions wherever they might be most useful at any given moment in time. This philosophy has led me into deeply satisfying and fruitful collaborations - some formal, some informal - with many organizations and networks, including the Commercial Fisheries Center of Rhode Island, Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, Responsible Offshore Science Alliance, Rhode Island Sea Grant / Coastal Resources Center, Eating with the Ecosystem, University of Rhode Island, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Rhode Island Natural History Survey, the Resilient Fisheries RI network, the Fish Locally Collaborative, Rhode Island Seafood Marketing Collaborative, and Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay.
In 2020, I formalized my research and education activities under the banner of Shining Sea Fisheries Consulting, LCC. Shining Sea Fisheries Consulting is a mission-driven research and education firm specializing in fisheries, wild seafood, and environmental information and decision-making. We combine roots in the commercial fishing community with a commitment to sound science, public engagement, and systems thinking to support coastal and ocean environments and the fishermen who make their livelihoods in these places. Shining Sea's business model blends contract consulting with pro-bono services, and leverages our revenues to support the core issues we care about. Much of our time is allocated to pro-bono work and and a hundred percent of our earned revenues will be utilized to further support fishing communities and their allies in advocating for healthy habitats and resilient seafood systems.
If you are interested in collaborating with me on a new project or adventure, I invite you to reach out using the contact info at the bottom of this page!