Stephen A. Wright

Shellfish Aquaculturist
Chatham Shellfish Company
What is your current job and what does it entail? 

I co-own Chatham Shellfish Company in Chatham, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where we have operated a four acre shellfish farm since 1976. My primary obligations involve daily oversight and husbandry of our oyster production—this can include anything from culling oysters by hand, operating sorting equipment, preparing product for sale and handling 2 mm seed oysters in our upweller. Additional responsibilities include marketing, safe harvesting compliance, distribution, maintaining our wholesale dealership, equipment research and development, and implementing new technologies and methods to better our operation.

What was the key factor in your career decision? 

Love of the sea, and a leaning toward a sustainable practice in the marine fisheries.

What do like most about your career? 

Being outdoors and the physicality of the demands, developing new equipment and producing fine oysters as a result.

What do you like least about your career? 

Not much not to like unless you don’t like doing work.

What do you do to relax? 

I like to hunt and fish to relax, play ice hockey to vent, and I enjoy building things.

What advice would you give a student who expressed an interest in pursuing a career in your field? 

Start early and focus on a particular sector or discipline or two within the field and work your way up. There are an ever increasing number of opportunities in aquaculture throughout the country and the world—it could take you anywhere from Maine to Hawaii, Canada to Indonesia. Become involved in regulatory and policy making in any capacity, whether through trade associations or similar advocacy; familiarize yourself with the regulatory framework the field encompasses. 

Are career opportunities in your field increasing or decreasing and why? 

Increasing as a result of domestic and global seafood demand.

What will you be doing 10 years from today? 

Raising oysters, possibly another species or two of shellfish on our lease site, and building up to the next level for our business.

Stephen A. Wright

There are an ever increasing number of opportunities in aquaculture throughout the country and the world -- it could take you anywhere from Maine to Hawaii, Canada to Indonesia.

Education

B.S., Aquaculture, University of Maine