His friends nicknamed him Balou after the cuddly bear in “The Jungle Book.” At the age of 10, he was an entrepreneur with a soft shell crab business selling to restaurants as far away as the Midwest. He schooled himself on the water, where he can detect tidal changes, figure wind speed or predict a storm on the fly. A sturgeon research project with mentor Chris Hager with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science planted the seed for him to encourage his father that Big Island Aquaculture was a worthy endeavor. Daniel tends to the labor and husbandry of raising sustainable oysters, passionate about a process that depends more on TLC rather than a stable Wi-Fi connection.
Bruce spent decades in corporate sales and training before committing to all things oyster at Big Island Aquaculture in 2013. He earned an undergraduate degree at Berkshire Christian College and completed graduate work at State University of New York Albany. A move to Gloucester in the mid-’80s introduced Bruce to a community of watermen who touted the oysters from his seaside backyard as the best in the Chesapeake Bay. Rivaling his passion to honor their heritage is a self-imposed responsibility to sustainably grow oysters to preserve these pristine waters for this generation and the next.
Secretary & Treasurer
Cathy taught kindergarten at Botetourt Elementary School in Gloucester for more than 30 years prior to “retiring” to handle the accounting and bookwork for Big Island Aquaculture. The Schenectady, New York native completed undergraduate work at State University of New York Cobleskill. Bruce and Cathy married in 1973 and are parents to three sons, Bruce, Nathan and Daniel.
Though she doesn’t listen to advice or suggestions, the most important partner at Big Island Aquaculture is in charge of the sun, moon, tide cycles and everything weather — details that affect salinity levels and optimal growth. Daniel calls her his best friend, and we depend on her daily, though she is unpaid.