Since she was a child, Carlota Castaneda-Cobo has always been fascinated by the ocean. When she decided to make the ocean her life’s work, she found a calling within a calling in the world of aquaculture.
After achieving her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and her Master’s in Aquaculture at Universitat de Barcelano, the 30-year-old decided to cross the continent, north from Spain to Scotland.
In three short years, Castaneda-Cobo sailed through the ranks at Scottish Sea Farms, starting out as a health specialist at the Loch Kishorn farm and has now become deputy operations manager at its Barcaldine RAS hatchery. But being promoted to this senior role was not easy, especially during a worldwide pandemic.
Within weeks of her appointment, two senior managers – head of Freshwater Pål Tangvik and operations director Noelia Rodriguez – stepped down from the team after fulfilling their mission to get the hatchery off to a good start.
“Carlota quickly became a key figure in ensuring that the facility continued to run smoothly and the fish remained well cared for while the company searched for its next head of Freshwater – later announced as Rory Conn,” says Lesley Rice, head of Communications at Scottish Sea Farms.
Castaneda-Cobo likes to say that she now manages people more than she does the fish. She is described as an attentive leader who implemented “waffle days” for her colleagues who were missing loved ones in other countries during the pandemic.
“I think it was the best thing I’ve done,” she teases. “A small thing, perhaps, but during the most difficult days, the sight of those freshly-made waffles with bacon or clotted cream and blueberries, helped keep everyone’s spirits up.”
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