Steve Sutton, M.S.

Founder/ President, CEO

Steve has been working to make an impact in the flawed world of fisheries since he graduated from Columbia University in 2008. After working in shellfish and fisheries research, he was a consultant for shrimp and fin-fish growing projects around the world. Steve then worked as Feeding Program Manager at an offshore fish farm engineering company called Innovasea. You can learn more about his journey below. 

Doug Ernst, M.S., Ph.D

Co-Founder/ Chief Technology Officer

Doug has over 35 years of experience in indoor aquaculture. He's a former Aquaculture Engineering Professor turned Shrimp Farming Pioneer, where he has been honing his craft for the past 15 years. Doug has served as CTO, engineer and consultant at several leading shrimp farms, as well as operations involved in aquaponics, saltwater tilapia, salmon and seaweed. Notably, he hasn't (knowingly) eaten a wild-caught shrimp in over 15 years, and was featured in the 2013 documentary 'Raising Shrimp' referenced twice on this site. 

Andrew Liao

Co-Founder/ Strategic and Financial Advisor

Andrew brings the team 12 years of professional experience developing, financing, and managing energy and infrastructure projects. In his career as an investment manager and investment banker, Andrew helped bring the solar and wind industry from a niche curiosity to its current market dominance, and he sees the same trajectory for land-based aquaculture. Andrew is currently a Senior Vice President of Primary Investments at the John Laing Group, where he invests in environmental and transportation-related businesses. He holds a BA from Columbia University and earned a certificate in Sustainable Aquaculture from the University of St. Andrews to better understand the industry. 

Daniel Lacy

Founding Member/ Strategic and Legal Advisor

As a lawyer, Daniel has been a jack of all trades. He has worked through matters ranging from intellectual property, licensing and compliance to employment  and consumer related issues. At present, he serves as General Counsel and VP of Business Affairs at The Performa Company. Daniel has helped TransparentSea get off the ground and provides continued guidance to keep us on the straight and narrow as we grow. 

Basic Core Beliefs

Environmental Health

Eliminate habitat destruction. Build clean, scientific systems that mimic natural ones.

Organismal Health

Use understanding of biology and  humane methods to produce and harvest healthy organisms.

Human Health

Properly raised shrimp are among the healthiest proteins. Proper management and distribution means no unnecessary treatments.


We believe that environmental and financial sustainability go hand in hand. For-profit innovations make examples that cause movements. 

The Founder's Journey

TransparentSea's story starts with our fishy founder, Steve Sutton and ends with you. His story is best understood by following his lifelong journey which he spent following a passion for following sea creatures. In short, this is just your typical story of a 34 year old guy starting a seafood farm in L.A. ...

At his version of the millennial crossroads we call college graduation in 2008, Steve recalls taking the path that the "little kid version of him would have traveled." Unfortunately, this extended a decade of college student finances. Fortunately and more relevantly for us, Steve was able to work with dozens of species of fish and shrimp in 8 countries and 4 languages. Projects spanned the fields of fisheries conservation, shellfish bacteriology, fish reproduction, live fish transport, ocean engineering and land-based shrimp culture, to name a few. 

Steve's roles have varied from laborer to scientist, to student, to teacher, to manager, back to laborer, and now to entrepreneur (which as it turns out, is ALL of these). Throughout it all, he's wondered why North American consumers are so disconnected from their seafood and vowed to find a way to change their relationship. The idea for this project came to Steve in 2014, and is taking physical form in 2020, after 6 years of planning.

STEVE'S TIMELINE (scroll left to right)

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram

©2020 by TransparentSea, LLC.