Dave Kellian grew up on Great Barrier Island and made an early decision to adopt the life of a commercial fisherman. After getting his start fishing with his father, he worked for legendary Hauraki Gulf fisherman Merv Strongman before setting out on his own.
Over his 30-year career, Dave has fished in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa using a wide range of fishing techniques. He currently skippers his own 20m vessel, longlining for southern bluefin, bigeye and yellowfin tuna.
In the 1970s, Dave became an early advocate of selling fresh fish into the Japanese market – but he was also concerned about the effect commercial fishing practices were having on the environment, particularly on seabirds.
Through his involvement with Southern Seabird Solutions and his own design and development work on seabird mitigation solutions, Dave has been at the forefront of initiatives designed to reduce the number of albatrosses and petrels being caught by longliners.
Dave received a NZ Green Ribbon Award for outstanding leadership in the field of conservation and the environment in 2004.