Tom Bowling


Tom has had aquariums since childhood. Whilst studying Marine Science and Aquaculture in Australia, Tom witnessed some the unnecessary death of hundreds of beautiful wild -caught aquarium fish. This was the moment when he realized his career interest, too supplement wild caught Aquarium fish with sustainably cultured aquarium species.

He has owned several businesses in Australia including Ocean Oddities, which was one of the first commercial seahorse farms in Australia. Tom then operated MIMF (ORA) in the Marshall Islands before deciding to start a family in Australia. That only lasted a few years before the call of the Pacific brought him back.

Tom moved to Palau with his family in order to set up Biota Aquaculture. Starting biota has allowed him to fuse his background in Marine Science and Commercial Diving. As a result, He has managed to successfully cultivate four new species of fish among many other hard to breed species. He has developed several techniques including the culture of Blue Lined Sea Bream and the first cultured Parrotfish – the Bumphead Parrotfish!

Starting an aquaculture business on a small Pacific Island nation

Living in the Pacific can be tough. Tom has managed to make it happen in Palau and will talk about how He got here, Why He got here and What He is up to. His latest research focuses on applying science and commercial diving strategy in order to collect gametes from spawning aggregations in Palau. For the last 2 years Tom and his Associates have been diving aggregations around Palau. He has managed to successfully culture Bumphead Parrotfish, Twin Spot Snapper and Blue Lined Seabream among other odds and ends.  He will review photos of these species through the grow out process and discuss the relevance to the aquarium industry.