Torstein Klokk Pettersen named First Seafood CFO; Rob Kragh ends sabbatical, joins Ready Seafood

To keep up to date with the latest personnel changes across the seafood industry, SeafoodSource is compiling a regular round-up of hiring announcements and other personnel-related shifts worldwide. If you have an announcement, please send it to [email protected].

- Torstein Klokk Pettersen  (pictured) has been appointed chief financial officer at Insula-owned First Seafood, according to a LinkedIn post from the Insula-owned firm. Before joining the Oslo, Norway-based seafood processor and  exporter, Pettersen worked for almost six years as the finance manager for textile manufacturer Sverre W. Monsen.

Earlier this month, First Seafood opened a new salmon-processing plant in Kongsvinger, Norway, and announced plans to build another facility in Bergen.

- Bioretur announced the appointment of Johan Haldorsen as its new technical chief, effective 1 January, 2024. The Nesttun, Norway-based company is a fish sludge treatment specialist.

“With his extensive knowledge of the aquaculture industry and deep technical insight into process facilities, he is an invaluable addition to our team. This becomes especially crucial as we look forward to the exciting projects we have planned for 2024 and 2025,” Bioretur CEO Steinar Wasmuth said in a release

Previously, Haldorsen worked as the technical head at Rensefiskgruppen and has experience working at Aker Geo, Wavefield Inseis, CGG, and Dolphin Geophysical. Haldorsen will have a focus on technology and equipment for sustainable fish treatment and sludge for land-based aquaculture, the company said.

- Rob Kragh announced a “self-funded sabbatical” in April 2023, from his position at Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods as vice president of category management. On 7 October, Kragh announced the end of his sabbatical on his LinkedIn and has his start of employment at Portland, Maine, U.S.A.-based lobster specialist Ready Seafood as its vice president of sales. 

“Been six months since I posted last after I made the decision to stop working and go on a self-funded sabbatical. My sabbatical thought process was fairly simple. Enjoy life more - Work out more - do more with my wife - do more with my family - do more with my friends. I can state six months later after a combination of relaxing at home and traveling to multiple places - Inlet Beach, Florida; Santa Barbara; New England; Italy; and Park City that I am amazed at how energized I feel about life,” Kragh wrote. “The time I got to strengthen my connections with people that I care about and being able to be 100 percent present with them as we created memories together is priceless. My advice - if you get the chance to carve out time to take a sabbatical - make a plan - stick with it and you will not regret it. Lastly - I am going back to work on Monday with a company that highly values a work/life balance.”

-Jamikara Techasaratoole has been appointed as general manager for Thai Union Group’s Indian Ocean Tuna (IOT) factory in the Seychelles, the third-largest seafood processing facility Thai Union operates.  

“IOT is a key manufacturing plant within the Thai Union, supplying our European customers with competitive and high-quality tuna products," Techasaratoole said in a release. "Operating from the island nation Seychelles, our challenges are many, but together with my leadership team and our talented and experienced employees, we will continue to create a positive social impact for our employees and their families here in Seychelles. We want to continue to lead on social responsibility and sustainability."

Techasaratoole is taking over for Ricardo Luzio, who has been appointed as the Thai Union fish procurement director, headquartered in Paris, France. 

“Jamikara and I worked hand in hand to keep the production costs in check and offer 1,800 stable incomes for our employees in Seychelles," Luzio said. "IOT is challenged more than ever by uncertain conditions, high inflation, and low consumer demand in Europe. Working together with IOT’s key partners will be key to securing a sustainable and effective operation. Jamikara is the right person at the right time to lead IOT into the future."

-The Aquaculture Stewardship Council has appointed Aisla Jones as its new market development manager for the U.K. and Ireland. According to her LinkedIn profile, Jones began the position in October 2023. Before joining ASC, Jones worked at the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership as a program director.

“It's been fun and I'll miss the team at Sustainable Fisheries Partnership but excited to be staying in seafood and joining Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) in October,” Jones wrote on LinkedIn. 

- Seafish has announced Mike Sheldon has been reappointed as chair of its board. Sheldon will begin his second three-year term as head of the U.K. industry body supporting the seafood sector on 1 April, 2024, and the appointment will run through 31 March, 2027. 

“I am delighted to be reappointed as chair of Seafish. It is a real privilege to work in such an organization. There is so much talent directed towards supporting industry to tackle the challenges they face,” Sheldon said in a release. “We have a full agenda of work over the next few years, and I am looking forward to bringing even more value to our stakeholders and doing our bit to ensure a thriving seafood sector.”

- Drew Ballard has been promoted to sales manager at Ocean Beauty Seafoods. 

Ballard has been promoted from sales representative to social media manager at Ocean Beauty Seafoods. He will continue to work from his home in Dallas, Texas U.S.A. Ballard started at the company in February 2020.

“I want to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone who has supported me on this journey. Your encouragement and belief in my abilities have been invaluable. This promotion is a testament to the hard work and dedication I have put into my career,” Ballard wrote on his LinkedIn

Photo courtesy of First Process


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