Des FitzGerald was born in Washington DC in 1951. Des graduated from Harvard University in 1975 and attended a year of graduate school at the University of Washington, College of Fisheries, in Seattle. He moved to Maine in 1978 and founded Ducktrap River Fish Farm the following year. In 1999 Des sold a portion of his company to Continental Grain and a year later was named CEO of ContiSea, a holding company made up of Ducktrap River Fish Farm and Atlantic Salmon of Maine. ContiSea had 200 +/- employees with over 50 million in annual sales. Des sold his remaining shares in ContiSea and left the company in 2002.