James Benson

Bristol Seafood
Bristol Seafood

Contact Details

Bristol Seafood
PO Box 486
Portland, ME


I am dedicated to fostering responsible marine resource use with a focus on sustainable business initiatives and scientific research. At Bristol Seafood, I manage all sales and new business development in the Northeast and Midwest regions including foodservice, retail, and wholesale. Furthermore, I spearhead a variety of sustainability initiatives to keep Bristol on the leading edge of the seafood industry. In my career, I have worked in various sectors of seafood from marine biology to fisheries economics to seafood production. Whether it's underwater collecting data or on the road meeting with seafood buyers, I bring an interdisciplinary approach to solving some of the major challenges facing the seafood industry today, leading the way for a better tomorrow.

Prior to Bristol, I managed the Culinary Partners Program at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. There I also evaluated fish stocks to determine compliance with GMRI’s Responsibly Harvested brand, worked with a major retailer to inform their seafood sourcing policy, and helped initiate GMRI’s Aquaculture Program. I have hands-on experience with aquaculture operations from working for Santa Barbara Mariculture Co. and on an open ocean fish farm in Brazil. My Master's thesis is on offshore integrated multitrophic aquaculture development in the U.S.

I have also been active in marine research on multiple levels. I bring a technical background in fisheries statistical modeling from my work with Sustainable Fisheries Group and the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Brazil. At the Marine Science Institute, UCSB I conducted primary research on groundfish demographics, generating grant funding for and leading the project. I accrued over 500 dives as a research SCUBA diver quantifying marine ecosystem dynamics along the West coast.

Outside of work I am an avid outdoorsman with a love for travel, cooking, and all things of the sea.


Bren School of Environmental Science and Management
Santa Barbara, California, United States
Masters, 2013
Coastal Marine Resources Management
2011 To 2013
Dissertation: Sustainable Seafood Production Utilizing an Integrative Multi-­trophic Approach to Temperate Marine Aquaculture Systems
Advisor: Hunter Lenihan

Job History

Bristol Seafood
Regional Sales Manager & Sustainability Coordinator
January 2017 - present