Dave Conley, Dip. Agr., B.Sc. (Agr), M.Sc.
Senior Consultant, Founding Partner

dave_picture Dave’s career in aquaculture grew out of his training in agriculture, renewable resources development and parasitology.

His first job in the food sector was in the production planning department at Kraft Foods in Montreal, Quebec (1972-75), after which he travelled to British Columbia (BC) and landed at a beef cattle ranch in BC’s interior, east of the Okanagan Valley, working as a ranch-hand for a season. From this experience Dave decided to enrol at Kemptville Agricultural College (now part of the University of Guelph) in 1977 and graduated with a Diploma in Agriculture, (Honors with Distinction) in 1979. After working in the agricultural sector for 5 years, he enrolled at McGill University’s Faculty of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences in 1984 and completed a B.Sc. (Agr.), Major in Renewable Resources Development (Great Distinction, University Scholar) in 1987.

It was during his undergraduate studies that he learned about the rapidly developing salmon farming industry in Norway and the slowly emerging aquaculture industry in Canada. Upon graduating, Dave was awarded a post-graduate scholarship by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) which he used to pursue a M.Sc. (Parasitology) from McGill’s Institute of Parasitology, graduating in 1992. His thesis research focused on the early life cycle biology of a parasitic copepod infecting brook trout and other members of the genus Salvelinus, which are widely farmed in Canada and the USA.

While writing his M.Sc. thesis, Dave worked for Beak Consultants Ltd. in Montreal as an environmental scientist (1990-91) and continued in this line of work when he moved to Vancouver, BC in 1992 to work for EVS Environment Consultants Ltd. Wanting to strike out on his own, he moved to the small town of Comox on Vancouver Island in 1993 and founded D.C. Conley & Associates, Biological Consultants. He began writing articles for Pacific Coast Aquaculture magazine and soon became editor of this publication, which merged with Northern Aquaculture magazine in 1995, for which he remained a regular contributor (1995-99).

Dave perceived the significance of the Internet in 1993 and the growing need for specialized information consulting services. It was during this period that he founded Coregan, Conley & Associates, Scientific & Technical Information Specialists, with Cathe Egan, publisher of Pacific Coast Aquaculture.

In addition to his information consulting services, Dave provided office management services to the BC Shellfish Growers Association for 16 months while the association recruited a new executive director. He also provided biological and communications consulting services to the BC Salmon Farmers Association, BC Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Skeena Watershed Committee, to name a few.

Dave moved to Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, in January 1999 to take a position in the newly created federal Office of the Commissioner for Aquaculture Development (OCAD) and was contracted to serve as the Communications Advisor to the Commissioner, Yves Bastien. Dave served in this position for the entire 5-year OCAD mandate and was a member of the team that produced two strategic policy documents for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada:

1) Achieving the Vision, 2003 (2884 KB)
2) Recommendations for Change, 2003 (3200 KB)

Dave transferred to the newly created Aquaculture Management Directorate, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, when the OCAD mandate ended March 31, 2004 and served as Senior Policy Advisor until resigning his position in June 2004 to pursue his communications interests with his partner, Tor-Eddie Fossbakk, with whom he had co-founded The Aquaculture Communications Group (ACG).

Prior to founding ACG, Dave became well-known in the global aquaculture community through his daily e-newsletter, Aquaculture Newsclips, which he created in 1998 with about 60 initial subscribers and which grew to more than 3,000 subscribers worldwide by 2004. Aquaculture Newsclips was transformed into the ACG Newsletter in 2004 and grew to over 6,000 subscribers by 2005. Dave also served as an associate editor (industry activities) for the Global Aquaculture Advocate, the bi-monthly publication of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, from 1999 to 2005. He is also the author of numerous articles published in various aquaculture media, including Northern Aquaculture, Aquaculture Magazine, Fish Farming International, Fish Farmer Magazine and Eurofish, to name a few. For example: Salmon Farming in British Columbia: Industry Evolution and Government Response (PDF), and Environmental Concerns: The Anti-Salmon Farming Lobby in British Columbia (PDF).

Always an innovator, he proposed video recording the presentations given at the Atlantic Aquaculture Fair & Exposition in 2001 and combining video with PowerPoint slides to create a proof-of-concept virtual record of the conference for people to view long after the event had passed. He perceived the benefits of using multimedia technologies to capture information presented at one moment in time and transform it into a virtual learning experience that eliminates the barriers of distance and time and which people may experience on their desktop or mobile laptop.

Dave brings over 40 years of diverse practical experience in aquaculture, renewable resources development, and communications & information technology to serve your aquaculture science & technology information needs, whatever they may be. Please feel free to contact him to discuss your project and how ACG can help you to achieve your goals.

See Tor-Eddie's profile