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September 21, 2015

United States

Hawaii—Dr. Shaun Moss, Shrimp Researcher


At an early age, Shaun Moss knew that he wanted to be a marine biologist.  As a child in northern New Jersey, he loved the ocean and dreamed of exotic places and beautiful tropical fish.  He had aquariums in his bedroom, read books about tropical fish and exotic locations and watched Jacques Cousteau on television.  These experiences reinforced his interest in marine biology and set his career in motion.


He began his college career at Connecticut College, where he participated in a study on blue mussels as bio-monitors for marine pollution.  Since there were few colleges at the time that specialized in marine biology, he decided to keep his studies broad and focused on biology.


Soon after receiving his bachelor’s degree, he moved to Taiwan to teach English.  Returning to the USA in 1982, he entered a graduate program in marine biology at the University of Delaware.  While in graduate school, he worked with Dr. Gary Pruder, who introduced him to the world of aquaculture.  At the University of Delaware, he conducted research on bivalves and worked on a recirculating aquaculture system for oysters.


After receiving his master’s degree, he won a Rotary Foundation Scholarship that sent him to the National University of Singapore.  His project there focused on mangroves and tropical marine ecosystems.


When that scholarship ended, he enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of Hawaii.  His PHD research focused on the microbial ecology of shrimp ponds.


After earning a doctorate from the University of Hawaii, Dr. Moss received a Fulbright Scholarship under which he completed a yearlong study of mangrove habitats in Indonesia and investigated shark finning and sea turtle poaching.  In 1995, when the scholarship was completed, he returned to Hawaii and began teaching at Hawaii Pacific University.  In 1997, he was recruited by the Oceanic Institute (OI) to direct its shrimp farming research. 


He led OI’s shrimp research efforts in the USDA-funded USA Marine Shrimp Farming Program, heading up a consortium of private sector companies and non-profits that ultimately developed an integrated biosecure, zero-exchange shrimp technology called “BioZEST”.


In 2009, he became director of the USA Marine Shrimp Farming Program, as well as OI’s vice president.  Prior to OI’s merger with Hawaii Pacific University, he became President and CEO of Research at OI.


Dr. Moss now serves as the Executive Director of the Oceanic Institute at Hawaii Pacific University in Waimanalo on the island of Oahu, where he directs research projects for the entire institute.  He has been part of the Oceanic Institute for almost 30 years.




Source: Fish Farming News.  The Many Faces of Fish Farming: This Issue, Meet Dr. Shaun Moss.  Amy-Riedel-Stone (  Issue 4. Page 10.  2015.

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