Welcome Amy West!
I am Amy West and I joined FishWise in March of 2018 as the program manager for the USAID initiative, Seafood Alliance for Legality and Traceability (SALT). I have known FishWise for a long time—having a deep personal interest in the path of our seafood.
Working at FishWise for SALT symbolizes the intersection of most my experience in marine biology, fisheries, science communication, and international development. Plus, it feeds an insatiable desire to learn and to convey how seafood can be tracked and made more sustainable. That quest might sound unusual for a Colorado native, but having no interest in going to college where an ocean used to be millions of years ago, I took off to the Caribbean to get a B.S. in Marine Biology. Shortly thereafter, I did a freshwater aquaculture stint in Gabon, Africa for Peace Corps. I stayed abroad for about 10 years–also obtaining a MSc in Marine Science at the University of Otago in New Zealand where I nearly froze trying to do so. Living in the idyllic mix of oceans and mountains was worth the chill.
I spent two decades as a marine scientist effectively pursuing work in all areas of field marine science, whether on a sailing vessel in Monterey Bay, fishing boats in the Bering Sea, or tracking marine mammals in Australia and the Antarctic. California’s central coast officially became my home in 2002—lured here by working at a deep-sea institute.
Five years prior to joining FishWise, I had been a freelance science writer, armed with a graduate degree in science communication from UC Santa Cruz. I had decided that helping non-scientists understand the inner workings of science might blaze a faster path to environmental awareness. Besides guiding scientists and other conservation organizations to communicate more effectively outside their circles, I also produced short films about their science.
My work and travels have taken me to more than 40 countries, but I consider myself very fortunate to land at an organization that culminates so many of my passions. The cherry on top is being based in a region that feeds my very active outdoor lifestyle, which includes being above and below the ocean.