About us




If not now, when?

Blue Ocean Gear uses technology to develop fishing gear that can enable sustainable fishing practices. We create solutions that help align a healthy ocean environment and the fishing industry that depends upon it.


Our Smart Buoy system aims to prevent both the economic and environmental impacts of lost fishing gear for the fishermen, fleets, and the fisheries they work in.


UN Goal 14: Life Below Water

The United Nations’ list of 17 Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) to improve life on our planet includes Goal 14: Life Below Water—to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources”.


Blue Ocean Gear’s Mission aligns strongly with the UN SDG 14 by addressing marine pollution and working toward sustainable fisheries. We want the ocean to be around for us to use today and far into the future.


Kortney Opshaug, Ph.D.


Dr. Kortney Opshaug is the Founder and CEO of Blue Ocean Gear. She has over 20 years of engineering and management experience in the fields of both marine and aerospace technology at companies including Deep Ocean Engineering, Lockheed Martin, and Space Systems/Loral. Prior to founding Blue Ocean Gear, Dr. Opshaug worked at USRA directing the Mission Operations team for NASA’s SOFIA program. She has developed the patented and patent-pending technology behind the Blue Ocean Gear’s devices. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from MIT, and she received a Ph.D. from Stanford University completing her thesis in underwater robotics.

Peter Macy

Chief Business Officer

Peter Macy is a high-energy and committed leader with over twenty years of experience launching and growing innovative businesses in regulated industries and an executive, investor, and investment banker. He is a creative and cross-cultural problem-solver whose entrepreneurial drive is supported by a deep understanding of corporate development and capital markets. Peter is the co-founder of multiple start-ups in hardware and business service sectors including Integrity Gaming, Poydras Street Capital, and FL Advisors after starting his career at JP Morgan. Peter is a graduate of Middlebury College with a B.A. in International Politics & Economics and holds an M.B.A. from UC Berkeley-Haas with a concentration in Management of Technology.

Kevin Johnson


Kevin Johnson is the Lead Mechatronics Systems Engineer at Blue Ocean Gear. Kevin has designed a wide range of electrical/mechatronic systems with particular experience in IoT, smart batteries, augmented reality and robotics. Through working at these companies and doing personal side projects, he provides a great deal of IoT design and electrical / mechatronic systems experience. Kevin obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in electrical engineering from UCSC and Stanford University, respectively. While at both universities, his focus was on mastering the integration of electrical, mechanical and software systems.

Mitesh Gala

Head of Operations

Mitesh Gala has spent his last 12 years working in social and environmental organizations that focus on double or triple bottom lines. He has been an entrepreneur, product manager and business developer in his career. His primary focus is to develop tools, analysis, processes and relationships to take products to market. His work has resulted in successful product launches.  At his last organization, he helped develop and scale the launch of an IoT product for monitoring vaccine health and indoor air pollution. He earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado State University and prior to that earned his Master’s in Electrical Engineering from University of Southern California.

Doug Traeger


Doug Traeger is a 20-year embedded systems engineering veteran. He has developed hardware and firmware ranging from the Greek language Tickle Me Elmo, to extreme depth rated submarine energy systems, to remotely operated weapon systems. Working on such a wide array of products afforded him exposure to both large- and small-scale manufacturing experiences and design challenges for all sorts of environs. Doug earned his Bachelor’s degree from Cogswell Polytechnical College.

Technical Advisory Board

Stephen Rock, Ph.D.

Dr. Rock is a professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and is the director of the Aerospace Robotics Laboratory at Stanford University. He also holds an Adjunct position at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

Bill Kirkwood

Mr. Kirkwood is currently the Senior Research and Development Engineer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Since 1991, he has held a number of positions in MBARI’s engineering department including ME Supervisor, Associate Director of Engineering and Director of Engineering.

Helen Shaughnessy

Ms. Shaughnessy has been a driver of products for over 25 years, with leading roles in product development, management, and marketing. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in M.E. from MIT and Stanford University, respectively, and her MBA from UC Berkeley-Haas.



Blue Ocean Gear partners with other organizations to keep fishermen fishing in healthy oceans.

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