Jim Wyban, PhD ’69


“This is a great honor. My excellent education at CHHS prepared me for an interesting life in innovation, science and entrepreneurship. Heights was a competitive environment and trained me to handle competition and not to be defeated by life’s many challenges. Successful people have grit or determination and I learned that at Heights.”

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” ~ Arthur C. Clarke

Jim developed SPF (specific pathogen-free) shrimp and is the world’s foremost authority in this field. His expertise is sought by some of the world’s most influential organizations, such as the World Health Organization and NASA.

Jim founded High Health Aquaculture, the first SPF shrimp breeding company, and grew the business to one that exported broodstock shrimp globally to twenty-six countries. (Brookstock refers to a group of mature fish used for breeding purposes.) Through his innovation, shrimp farmers now use SPF stocks, which are high quality and produce both good survival rates and high yields. This means shrimp farmers no longer need to source their seed from the ocean, where reproduction cannot be controlled. By using clean stocks, free of pathogens, farmers can grow their stocks without relying on antibiotics to boost growth and prevent disease outbreaks. The quality of Jim’s SPF shrimp stock has had an incredible impact on shrimp production worldwide. The technology he created transformed the industry leading to fivefold production and adding 225 billion dollars to the global shrimp economy.

Over his long career, Jim has received many honors and awards and is a much sought-after keynote speaker. Nevertheless, giving back to his community remains a priority. Jim is the founder and chairman of the Hawaii Island Business Plan competition, which helps grow the Islands business ecosystem by awarding $25,000 annually to an entrepreneur. He is also a board member and treasurer of the Hawaii Island Veterans Memorial, which develops affordable housing for veterans.


BS, Northwestern University

MBL, Physiology and PhD, Zoology, University of Hawaii 

Current Occupation

Agriculture and Aqua-Tech Innovator

  • Started Northshore Fish and Produce based at Lokoea Fishpond (1981)
  • Recruited as Principal Investigator to US Marine shrimp farming program at Oceanic Institute (1984) 
  • Developed world’s first SPF shrimp (1991)
  • Started High Health Aquaculture (HHA), world’s first SPF breeding company (1993)
  • Operated HHA and exported live broodstock to twenty six countries (1993-2012)
  • Sold HHA to Largest shrimp farming company in world (2012)
  • Started HIplan (Hawaii Island Business Plan Competition) to build entrepreneur ecosystem (2016)
  • Convene Tropical Ag-Tech Conference (2022)