Who we are

Our business has come forth in response to the growing demand for fresh, high quality shrimp grown in a sustainable way. Litopenaeus vannamei, Pacific White Shrimp, will be grown in an indoor, fully recirculating tank, minimal-waste system. This sustainable method means fresh, clean, and tender shrimp will be sold year-round in Greenville, SC!


Valeska Minkowski

Valeska grew up loving everything about the ocean. For her dissertation, she spent her summers diving and studying the community of organisms that live in, on, and around coral reefs. After physically seeing the toll the fishing industry was doing to the underwater world, she started reading more and more about sustainable fishing methods and became passionate about buying and eating sustainable. After moving to Greenville and learning there was no way for her to eat sustainable shrimp here, she decided to do something about it. And that is the story of how Urban Seas Aquaculture came to life!


Austin Minkowski

Austin has always been environmentally conscious, but his love and passion for fisheries sustainability really came to fruit when he started diving with his wife, Val. Seeing how the beautiful coral reefs and the bright inquisitive fishes were being threatened by the increasing amount of aggressive fishing techniques, Austin became a convert for fisheries sustainability.  After realizing that Val's idea to start a sustainable shrimp farm in Greenville wasn't just a half baked dream, he was all in! He isn't quitting his day job anytime soon, but as chief science officer, his engineering skills are constantly being put to the test.


Erin Downing


Erin has always been drawn to the ocean, so it wasn’t surprising when she decided that her future lay in studying and protecting it after watching a film about the disastrous desiccation of coral reefs. After graduating from college with a degree in marine biology, she wondered what she could do that would make a tangible, positive impact on the ocean and would also satisfy her affinity for getting her hands dirty- that’s when she discovered sustainable aquaculture and Urban Seas! Learning about how a small business works has been just as rewarding to Erin as raising happy, healthy shrimp, so much that she may want to start her own aquaculture business someday!