A better way of doing things
Biota believes in a better way of doing things.
We’re using science and technology to develop ocean-friendly aquaculture solutions.
Biota provides a sustainable and superior alternative for aquarists and pet stores that care about ocean conservation.
Every day, we’re showing that aquaculture can have a positive impact on the ocean.
Meet Tom Bowling
Biota Group founder and CEO
Tom developed a passion for aquatic life from a young age. He was eight years old when he first raised a tadpole he found in a pond into a fully-grown frog. By age 10, he had 15 aquariums in his house and was starting to breed a variety of freshwater species.
During his teenage years working at pet stores, Tom encountered the world of wholesale fish and was shocked by the mortality rate that was accepted at the time. It was then that he decided to devote himself to studying fish reproduction.
A desire to know more about the marine world led Tom to James Cook University in North Queensland, Australia, where he studied marine biology and aquaculture.
As a lifetime hobbyist, Tom focused his attention on changing the aquarium market. He saw an opportunity to remove the demand for wild-caught fish by culturing rare and exotic species in captivity. Tom believed this would result in healthier fish better-suited to aquariums, while contributing to ocean conservation.
In 2012, Tom founded Biota in Palau, a small archipelago in the Pacific Ocean and one of the world’s largest marine reserves. Biota has developed new ways of culturing popular fish for the aquarium trade, as well as valuable food fish.
Tom’s vision is to provide an alternative solution for aquarium hobbyists that care about where their fish come from. Biota does this by supplying sustainably-bred fish, clams and corals to pet shops across the United States, Europe and through the Biota Aquarium, the first all-in-one sustainable saltwater aquarium.
Driven by his love for the ocean, Tom and the Biota team are expanding beyond the aquarium trade. Biota’s new aquaculture methods are also being used to successfully culture food fish that are helping to restock wild populations and could one day provide an alternative solution for the seafood industry.
Tom was named Aquarist of the Year by the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America (MASNA) in 2019, in recognition of Biota’s innovative methods and commitment to sustainability.
Tom attributes the success of Biota to a genuine passion for sustainable aquaculture, creating a culture of innovation, and having a mission that everyone on the team believes in.