The Alliance hired its first executive director, Ms. Tj Tate, in January 2009. In that time, Tj has helped our conservation minded fishermen preserve our voice and champion industry leading initiatives that are leading to healthier fisheries. Among Tj’s early successes is the development of the development of Gulf Wild™, the Gulf’s first (and, to date, the only) fully trackable seafood with strict conservation and transparency principals tied to the brand.
She has been an environmental professional for over 15 years and has worked to strengthen our nation’s fisheries since 1998. As Executive Director of the Alliance, Tj works closely with the Board of Directors and diverse groups of fishermen, communities, environmental groups, and decision-makers to strengthen the reef fish industry. She has vast design experience for fishery management programs, having helped engineer the Gulf’s Grouper IFQ, Headboat pilot IFQ (the first anywhere in the world), and now the remaining reef fish IFQ.
She also has the privilege of serving on several Gulf Council advisory panels. Tj completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Florida State University and pursued her Masters of Science in Marine Science at the University of San Diego. Tj’s experience includes research that contributed to fisheries management plans in California, white seabass and juvenile lemon shark research and the design of the first conservation bank in northeast Florida. She works tirelessly to strengthen the reef fish industry’s march toward sustainability and accountability through the use of IFQs.