About Us

Aristotle's Lantern (Ar·is·tot·le's lan·tern):

A conical structure of calcareous plates and muscles supporting the rasping teeth of a sea urchin.

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Co-founder Wes Newbury became an avid spearfisher while getting his Master's in the Eco-Entreprenuer (Eco-E) program at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management (UCSB). He spent a lot of time underwater in awe of the kelp forest. But, with each dive, he noticed less kelp and more purple urchins in its place.  This problem led  Wes to lead a team of graduate students in the research and design of an urchin feedstock and ranching project called Unicado.

Upon completing the academic requirements of Unicado, Wes left the student-run team to seek the professional capabilities of his wife, Kate Newbury, in a new venture that focuses on the greatest limitation of urchin ranching: scale. Kate comes from a background in food waste systems and program management. She was excited for an opportunity to create a restorative and delicious seafood out of something otherwise wasted.

The Aristotle's Lantern team was not complete until Jeff Maassen joined the venture. Jeff brings 4 decades of commercial urchin diving experience as well as a depth of ecological knowledge and a burning passion to prevent urchin barrens from destroying the kelp forests to which he has dedicated his life and career.

Together, Aristotle's Lantern is combining a traditional fishery with new age aquaculture to restore a critical marine ecosystem

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