Cathal Dinneen leaves Kuterra to join Norway's Fredrikstad Seafood

Published on
June 23, 2016

Kuterra has announced a change in operational management at its land-based Atlantic salmon farm in Canada, as operations manager Cathal Dinneen will be leaving Kuterra to become production lead at Fredrikstad Seafood in Norway.

Kuterra was the first business in North America and among the first in the world to use recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technology to grow Atlantic salmon at a commercial scale, having sold them since 2014. The company is wholly owned by the 'Namgis First Nation, who started the business to demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of farming salmon on land using RAS rather than in the ocean, the company said in its announcement.

Dinneen joined Kuterra in 2011 to help launch it as the first company in North America to grow Atlantic salmon on land for consumers, using recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technology.

"Cathal helped Kuterra adapt RAS technology to grow premium quality market-sized Atlantic salmon. He built Kuterra's operations framework, led the extensive early-stage operational problem-solving and helped train our operations team. His contribution to Kuterra has been immense. We will continue to benefit from it through our systems and staff,” Kuterra CEO Garry Ullstrom said.

Earlier this month, the Norwegian government finalized its regulatory framework for land-based aquaculture, giving a green light to the new industry and opening a pathway for Fredrikstad Seafood to become a leading player in land-based Atlantic salmon farming in Europe.

"We have followed all international projects including Kuterra closely for some years. Kuterra deserves praise for its open innovation approach. We look forward to incorporating Kuterra's achievements, through Cathal's experience, in our Nordic operation, which has substantial ambitions for growth in the coming years,” Nordic Aquafarms CEO Erik Heim said. “We hope to maintain a good dialogue with Kuterra, so we both can continue to advance the land-based industry and a sustainability agenda."

Fredrikstad has said it hopes to build the largest Atlantic salmon (RAS) farm in the world, and has hired Dinneen to help with that project.

"The Fredrikstad facility is a natural progression from Kuterra. It offers the opportunity to apply knowledge gained so far to a larger facility, and achieve new economies of scale,” Dinneen said.My goal has always been to push the boundaries of what can be achieved in modern fish farming, and Fredikstad Seafood, like Kuterra, will do so. I am honored to be given the opportunity to use my experience to help Fredrikstad Seafood be successful.”

Dinneenjoined Kuterra as operations manager in 2011, bringing with him more than 18 years of experience in farming fish, including in RAS systems. He worked in several countries in Europe, growing a variety of species including brown trout, rainbow trout, arctic char, salmon, turbot and halibut.

Kuterra said that Dinneen will remain in his current role at Kuterra until December 2016 and will start his new position in Fredrikstad in January 2017. Upon his departure, Kuterra's current assistant operations manager, John Burton, who started with Kuterra in 2012 and has also worked at Saltstream and Marine Harvest, growing coho, chinook and Atlantic salmon using RAS and open-net systems, will be promoted to operations manager.

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