Austral Fisheries GM hired by SeaBOS as its new managing director

Published on
July 3, 2019

Martin Exel of Australian fishing company Austral Fisheries has been appointed as the new managing director for the Stockholm, Sweden-based Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS), the organization announced on Wednesday, 3 July. 

A global initiative established by the Stockholm Resilience Center, SeaBOS receives support from 10 of the world’s largest commercial seafood companies hailing from key industry areas including wild fisheries, aquaculture, and aquaculture feed production. The global industry body aims to provide leadership and direction to the world’s largest commercial seafood companies, helping develop “consensus on how to tackle common issues affecting all seafood industry participants such as reducing plastics in the oceans; working to eliminate illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; and removing forced labor in the seafood industry,” it said. 

Exel, who comes to SeaBOS with over 35 years of experience in seafood, brings a prestige to the organization that it holds in high regard, according to SeaBOS Chairman Shigeru Ito, who is president and CEO of Maruha Nichiro, the largest seafood company in the world.

“Mr. Exel is an executive of the highest calibre, with a strong reputation for collaboration and a positive vision for the sustainability of the global seafood industry,” Ito said. "Mr Exel has over 35 years’ experience in the seafood industry. He’s a leader and a change-agent who has demonstrated his commitment to sustainable seafood and a healthy ocean, in many facets of our industry. We are fortunate to have his experience and expertise to help guide and shape this organization." 

The general manager for environment and policy at Austral Fisheries, Exel said his new role with SeaBOS will take up approximately six months out of each year. He will split his time between his ongoing work with Austral Fisheries in Perth and his new duties with SeaBOS, according to a press release from Austral Fisheries. 

Exel will become the “new global face of SeaBOS and will be spearheading its ambitious international agenda,” he explained. Working with SeaBOS members, who are known as “Keystone Actors” because of their prominence in all levels of the seafood supply chain – collectively, they produce around 10 percent of the world’s seafood – will be a fixture for Exel in his new position. 

“My mandate at SeaBOS is to work with the Keystone Actors in their desire to transform the global seafood industry. It’s the sort of challenge I thrive on, and I will be working hard in collaboration with those businesses and scientists to help secure the long-term future of the seafood industry and the health of our oceans,” Exel said. “This appointment is a tremendous opportunity for me personally, and also very clear recognition of Austral Fisheries’ status as leaders in the Australian seafood industry. It is only possible for me to do this with the strong support of the Austral board, Theo Kailis, and David Carter and I am humbled by their agreement and commitment to me taking up the role,."

Austral Fisheries’ CEO David Carter said Exel’s SeaBOS appointment has been met with enthusiasm and celebration by the Australian fishing company.

“Martin’s appointment to SeaBOS comes with our enthusiastic support, and while we’ll see him less as he splits his time between both roles, we take great comfort in knowing that Martin is driving an ambitious, transformative agenda that aligns perfectly with the Austral purpose in support of better outcomes for our oceans,” Carter said. 

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