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From oysters, to scallops, mussels and conchs, Samia Sarkis has made a career in growing shellfish for consumption.

The marine biologist and aquaculture specialist thrives in “early life cultures” — that period from the egg stage to juvenile — but is now turning her attention to corals.

She helped launch the Coral Garden Initiative in June; the project is the brainchild of Living Reefs Foundation, which started in 2013.

She sums aquaculture up as “sea farming”.

“My whole career has been focused on developing techniques for culturing marine organisms, [particularly] growing for food.

“Like when you go to Aberfeldy and buy your seedling of tomatoes. I produce that seedling of tomatoes,” she explains.

“We started the foundation as a means to engage tourists in conservation of coral reefs,” she said.

Dr Sarkis had been working with the Department of Conservation Services when she discovered that reefs are an undeniable “asset” to tourism.