Former High Liner CEO Keith Decker has been named president and CEO at Blue Harvest Fisheries, the company said in an announcement on Tuesday, 16 January.
Jeff Davis, who has led Blue Harvest since it was founded in 2014, is retiring from managing the company’s day-to-day operations, but will continue in his role as chairman of the board of managers of the company, according to the announcement.
Blue Harvest Fisheries, based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, is a harvester, processor and distributor of sea scallops and other seafood products including cod, flatfish, tuna, and swordfish. Under Davis’ leadership, the company expanded aggressively, with purchases of Peabody in Newport News, Virginia, in May 2015; Harbor Blue and Hygrade Ocean Products, both based in New Bedford, in March 2016; and High Liner Foods’ New Bedford-based scallop business in September 2016.
“After playing an integral role in building Blue Harvest, it’s time to transfer the helm to the next generation of leadership,” Davis said. “I look forward to working on high impact strategic initiatives as the chairman of the board and serving as a resource to Keith and the rest of the Blue Harvest team.”
Keith Decker, who left Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada-based High Liner in August 2017 after serving as its CEO from 2015 until his departure, will take over for Davis effective 16 January. Decker has more than 25 years of experience in the seafood industry, including executive roles at High Liner and at St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada-based Fishery Products International.
“I am excited about guiding Blue Harvest on its next phase of growth. The company’s access to world-class, wild-caught, sustainably harvested seafood is on-trend with what consumers want and I believe that there are unique opportunities to better serve our customers,” Decker said.
Scott Perekslis, the managing partner of New York-based Bregal Partners, a private investment firm that owns Blue Harvest Fisheries, expressed enthusiasm at seeing Decker taking over the leadership of the company.
“His experience and expertise are invaluable assets to Blue Harvest as the company looks to the future and seeks to grow further its vertically-integrated premium seafood platform,” Perekslis said.
Perekslis had high praise for Davis, who in addition to his leadership role at Blue Harvest, serves as a board member for the Marine Stewardship Council and Baader North America. He is also a past chairman of the National Fisheries Institute, a former board member of the New England Fisheries Development Foundation, a former member of the Saltonstall-Kennedy Task Force, and a previous member of the Board of Advisors at the Center of Marine Research and Opportunity at Kingsborough Community College.
“Jeff Davis is a visionary leader within the seafood industry and he was instrumental in building Blue Harvest from an idea to what it is today,” Perekslis said. “Jeff and I have worked together for nearly two decades, and I wish him and his family the best in his well-deserved retirement.”