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James Benson

I use marine research to help chefs source local sustainable seafood

Job Sustainable Seafood Project Manager / Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Lives In Downtown

I am marine biologist with an entrepreneurial spirit and appreciation for local business. I hold a Masters of Coastal Marine Resources Management from the University of California, Santa Barbara and have conducted research as a fish ecologist with PISCO, AAUS scientific marine diver, and fisheries modeler with Sustainable Fisheries Group.

Prior to GMRI I worked on open-ocean fish and shellfish farms harvesting and distributing products while developing methods to improve sustainability. In my current role I evaluate regional fisheries to determine responsible harvest and manage the Culinary Partners program, working with chefs to educate staff and help them source local sustainable seafood year-round.

Outside of work, I am an avid fisherman, rock climber, and sailor who loves the outdoors and great food. I moved to Portland in 2013 following a long stint in Santa Barbara, CA in search of my next adventure.

Why did you choose Portland? It has a city feel without being overwhelming, there's easy access to ocean, mountain, and river sports, and it has a top-notch restaurant scene.

What do you like to do with out-of-towners? Lobster roll at Fort Mason, local brews at Rising Tide, music at Blue, and a Sea Dogs game.

Where's your "happy place" on the peninsula? Eastern Prom, Novare Res, and The Front Room.

What's your favorite indulgence and where do you find it? Barbecue bacon cheeseburger at The Great Lost Bear.

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