Tom Sturk


He was a commercial fisherman for several years and participated in many large scale fishing operations that brought him from the warm waters of southern California to the unspoiled waters of southeast Alaska. While the fisheries he became involved with by in large were managed well and promoted sustainable practices, there was another factor that caused him to ultimately leave his beloved profession. What was that factor? To put it simply, stability, he was faced with the reality that even if a fishery is responsibly managed there are outside factors that can wreak havoc on fish stocks. Environmental factors, this has lead to wildly fluctuating seafood markets and unpredictable returns of fish stocks. It had become increasingly difficult to make a dependable living. One year would see record numbers of fish, while the next could produce little to nothing, we were beginning to see the effects of a erratic shifts in our oceans ecosystems that had once been somewhat predictable. He moved out of the fishing industry and became involved in hydrographic survey work (collecting data for nautical charts, dredge projects, sub sea cable routes etc.) , but he longed for the feeling of freedom and adventure he had known as a commercial fisherman, the feeling of connection with the sea and the abundance of life within it, the beauty and wonder of it all, and the satisfaction of, in some small but tangible way, contributing something vital to the world. When he discovered this new and exciting model of aquaculture he knew immediately that this was it.