Shining Sea Fisheries Consulting is a mission-driven social science research and communication firm specializing in fisheries, wild seafood, and environmental information and decision-making. We combine roots in the commercial fishing industry with a commitment to sound science, public engagement, and systems thinking to support coastal and ocean environments and the fishermen who make their livelihoods in these places. Shining Sea's business model blends contract consulting for government, nonprofit, and academic clients, with pro-bono services that assure all commercial fishermen can access the skills they need to advocate for healthy marine environments, regardless of budget.
Sarah Schumann is a 15+ year veteran of the Rhode Island and Alaska seafood industries as well as a passionate advocate for the ocean ecosystems that sustain wild fisheries. She has had the joy of working as a deckhand on gillnet, lobster, seine, and oyster farm boats in both states, operating her own small-scale shellfishing operation in Rhode Island, and spending nine summers as a salmon cannery machinist in Bristol Bay, Alaska.
Sarah is a bridge-builder and systems-thinker who has catalyzed numerous collaborations and seeks to apply her passions and talents wherever they are needed at any given moment. She founded the nonprofit Eating with the Ecosystem in 2011, which she ran as board president until 2018. She coordinated the first-of-its-kind Resilient Fisheries RI strategic planning process with Rhode Island's fishing industry from 2015-2018. She serves on NOAA's Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee and the Advisory Council for the Responsible Offshore Science Alliance, and was previously very involved in the Fish Locally Collaborative.
Sarah is the author of two books: Rhode Island's Shellfish Heritage: An Ecological History and Simmering the Sea: Diversifying Our Cookery to Sustain Our Fisheries. She is the founder and editor of the online multimedia journal Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Marketing.
Sarah holds a BS in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island and a MSc in Nature, Society, and Environmental
Policy from the University of Oxford.
Shining Sea Fisheries Consulting is working on two projects in 2022:
1. Bringing fisheries expertise to the "New England Feeding New England" project, led by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund.
2. Amplifying the voices of Southern New England fishermen through a "fishery friendly" climate action agenda, with the Commercial Fisheries Center of RI and Massachusetts Fishermen's Partnership.
Since its founding in 2020, Shining Sea Fisheries Consulting has:
1. Worked with the Northeast Fisheries Science Center to understand "graying of the fleet" in the Northeast and what can be done to reverse it.
2. Partnered with the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program to integrate fishermen's ecological knowledge (FEK) into scientific monitoring of Narragansett Bay.
Shining Sea Fisheries Consulting provides pro-bono work to commercial fishermen's groups in service to two core missions:
1. To support commercial fishermen in advocating for protection and restoration of fishery habitats.
2. To support commercial fishermen in advocating for solutions to the climate crisis that safeguard our planet, our oceans, and our wild seafood systems.