My name is Joe Rankin and I am the General Manager of NH Community Seafood. I grew up in Durham, NH and attended the University of Maine. I graduated in 2014 with a degree in Marine Biology. Since then, I have been working in the field of Marine Science Education and Aquaculture and I am pursuing an MBA from Northeastern University. I love the ocean and I have a strong drive to build communities around creating sustainable seafood.
While I was an undergraduate, I spent time engaging in academic research in the field of phycology, which is the study of algae. I attended annual conferences for the Journal of Phycology and had the opportunity to be invited to attend both a private genome mapping conference at the Lawrence Berkely Lab, as well as present at the Maine State Capital to show my research identifying associated bacteria in the macroalgae Porphyra umbilicalis.
After college, I took some time before graduate school and worked in community-built programs on the seacoast of New Hampshire. I worked for the town of Hampton as a Conservation Commission intern and monitored the town’s many easements and estuarine waterways, as well as for the Seacoast Science Center as a Naturalist. There, I used my knowledge to paint a picture for SSC visitors and school groups of how the marine life community interacts with itself and with humans. I found that showing others the connections between our oceans and our communities is extremely rewarding for me and continued to find ways to be engaged in the community through marine life.
In 2017, I started working for an oyster farm on the south shore of Massachusetts. There, I learned firsthand the many benefits of aquaculture and worked as a farm site manager for five years. Working with that crew has been some of my best years and has shown me the value in creating highly networked sustainable small boat fisheries, providing small businesses with meaningful careers for local folks.
In 2019, I started pursuing my MBA from Northeastern University. This helped me with my management work on the oyster farm, understanding of supply/value chains and how to efficiently start and run a sustainable business. In 2020, I purchased my own space to create an oyster farm in Little Bay. Today, Hidden Coast Shellfish grows oysters on the bottom that are constantly filtering the estuarine waters of New Hampshire. In February of 2022, I joined NH Community Seafood as their General Manager because I am passionate about supporting our local small-boat fishermen and encouraging our community to buy food from our neighbors.