Kate originally studied law, but her family’s fishing history led her to develop a strong interest in aquaculture. Her research found that the majority of naturally occurring mussel beds have been fished out and destroyed, resulting in the Irish mussel industry being severely constrained in terms of potential growth and being reliant on importing mussel seed from other countries. Therefore, in 2010, Kate applied for an aquaculture licence for her first start-up company – Irish Mussel Seed Company (IMSC).
Kate broke new ground when, in 2019, her company became the first fully licensed offshore mussel seed provider on the east coast; thereby creating a new license type for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. IMSC will cultivate mussel seed from the Irish Sea utilising the most sustainable method of aquaculture available in the world. IMSC is working towards an overall zero carbon footprint farm. Kate’s innovative approach has gained her widespread recognition within the industry and she has been awarded several entrepreneurial accolades.
Kate’s studies in aquaculture culminated in her obtaining a H Dip in Business in Aquabusiness in 2018. Since then, she founded Aqualicense to enable increased seafood production globally through aquaculture by integrating deep tech with industry expertise to deliver Smart aquaculture licence applications and associated reports.
Kate will utilise her Nuffield scholarship to study the synergy potential for agriculture and aquaculture so that both farming industries may be able to increase production while balancing overall national carbon output.