Wally Stevens, who has served the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) as its executive director for the past seven years, is stepping down as director to take on "a leadership role" with the GAA-established Responsible Aquaculture Foundation (RAF), according to a GAA statement.

Stevens helped establish the RAF as a charitable organization to offer responsible aquaculture education and training.

"Education is in my DNA, as I suspect it is for most of us. It is only through continual learning that individuals and enterprises have the greatest potential for success," said Stevens. "With current technology, the delivery of knowledge using a combination of the Internet and the classroom is where most public and private universities are at, and that is how the RAF intends to inform men and women around the world on the great opportunities to be found in aquaculture."

Stevens will remain GAA's executive director through the transition period and search for a successor, and will continue to serve on the GAA's board of directors after he has joined the RAF.

Stevens will work to attract foundation support for RAF educational programs. Already, the RAF has worked with a number of education and aquaculture improvement projects, including efforts to research diseases such as infectious salmon anemia in Chile, white spot syndrome in shrimp in Mozambique and Madagascar, and early mortality syndrome in shrimp in southeast Asia.

Currently, the RAF is finalizing a project with Steve Otwell of the University of Florida involving food safety, working with fish farmers and processors in Malaysia.

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