Founders’ Story

By October 6, 2017Company, Industry

The inspiration behind the leader in sustainable open ocean aquaculture.

Views of the offshore net pens.

Written By: The Blue Ocean Mariculture ‘ohana

Hugh Reilly has always had a passion for the ocean. As a young man on the Pacific, he worked aboard aged schooners, tugboats and sailing yachts. More recently, he restored a classic 1924 motor yacht and captained her on a 12,000 mile circumnavigation of the Pacific Ocean’s ‘Ring of Fire’. MV Westward, with 93 years behind her, is now listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Hugh helped build the modern U.S. commercial fishing industry in the North Pacific. He came to the industry soon after the Fisheries Conservation and Management Act of 1976, which brought biological and economic sustainability to U.S. fisheries there. Hugh built new fishing vessels, founded new seafood processing companies, and developed a deep appreciation for the ocean as a source of life, livelihood and protein.

Meanwhile, Todd Madsen was honing his business and entrepreneurial skills on land through a 15-year career in strategy and operations consulting. He then founded and built a successful technology company before joining Hugh to help manage his varied fishing industry companies and interests.

Hugh and Todd were introduced to the world of aquaculture in 2007 and quickly saw the potential for open ocean farming to reduce pressure on capture fisheries and expand access to seafood, without harming the oceans. A vision began to emerge for sustaining Earth’s oceans, wild fish, and people through the production of clean, farmed marine protein.

Blue Ocean Mariculture was founded in 2010 with a mission to pioneer sustainable open ocean aquaculture of marine finfish. We value quality in all aspects of our business and we care deeply about our employees, the environment and our fish. We also value the earned trust that you place in us to ‘do the right things’ for the ocean, wild fish and our customers. With our flagship fish, Hawaiian Kanpachi, we are setting the standard for responsible, environmentally safe aquaculture in open ocean waters.

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