Northwest Aquaculture Alliance elects new officers

Published on
August 27, 2020

The Northwest Aquaculture Alliance (NWAA) has announced the election of two new officers who will serve in leadership roles for the organization.

Cooke Aquaculture Pacific General Manager Jim Parsons has been elected to the role of president of the NWAA, and Jamestown Seafood CEO Kurt Grinnell has been elected to serve as the vice president. The NWAA is an advocate for aquaculture in the northwest region of the United States, and parts of Canada.

“Both Parsons and Grinnell are strong proponents of locally produced seafood as a food security measure, and both offer years of experience in the seafood industry,” NWAA Executive Director Jeanne McKnight said. “We are pleased that the board has voted unanimously to support this new NWAA leadership team, and we are confident that the region will benefit greatly from further responsible development of a strong aquaculture sector to help reduce our country’s reliance on imported seafood.”

NWAA members come from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia, Canada. Members come from a variety of aquaculture operations and different parts of the industry, including land-based operations, freshwater operations, vessel operators, feed companies, and more.

“Every day, new scientific research is coming to light, showing that eating seafood – farmed and wild – is beneficial for our overall health at every age,” McKnight said. “Given the need for environmentally sustainable, locally produced food, the United States, which currently ranks 16th globally in aquaculture production, is taking bold steps to becoming a major player in aquaculture.”

McKnight added that a recent push by the federal government to expand aquaculture in the U.S. showcases the need for advocating for the Pacific Northwest’s suitability as an aquaculture hub.  

“These new measures, including the establishment of Aquaculture Opportunity Areas, will attract investment and more jobs to support vibrant working waterfronts and end our trade imbalance,” McKnight said. “Our region possesses the natural resources, technology expertise, and labor base to become a major global aquaculture producer and make significant economic and social impacts in rural coastal communities.”  

Photos courtesy of the Northwest Aquaculture Alliance

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