Cermaq, Cornelis Vrolijk, Clean Seas see executives depart; BioMar Sales Director Henning Laugen dies

New Cermaq Managing Director Joachim Wessel
New Cermaq Commercial and Supply Chain Director Joachim Wessel I Photo courtesy of Cermaq
6 Min

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].

- Joachim Wessel has been appointed managing director for Cermaq Chile, replacing Pedro Courard, who has joined Miami, Florida, U.S.A.-based Atlantic Sapphire as its new CEO. 

Wessel joined Cermaq in 2020 and has an extensive background in salmon farming, including working for such companies as Mowi and AquaChile. He has been promoted from the position of commercial and supply chain director for Cermaq Chile, and was previously the CEO of salmon company Friosur.

“I am delighted to accept the challenge. We have a lot of good professionals and a good company culture in Cermaq, and my task will be to ensure the best teamwork and good results going forward,” Wessel said in a release.

- Henning Laugen, former sales director at BioMar, has died. Laugen worked with the company for over two decades and worked out of the company’s Trondheim, Norway offices.

“I am grateful for the work and commitment Henning Laugen has contributed to BioMar all these years, which has led the team to where we are today,” BioMar Norge Managing Director Håvard Jørgensen previously said in a release.

In December 2022, Oda Høyland took over for Laugen as BioMar's commercial director. 

- Awad Farouk Al Desouki has resigned as CEO of Saudi Fisheries Company, effective 15 April. Mahmoud Abdul Hay Abu Aqeel will lead executive management operations until a new CEO is appointed, the company said in a release.

Aqeel has 17 years of experience in the food and agriculture industries and has been CFO and financial controller at Saudi Fisheries since 2022. He also served as the chief accountant at both Arab Agricultural Services Company (ARASCO) and Abdulrahman Saad Al Rashid Company (ARTAR), both roles of which are preceded by his time spent at Arab Finance and Trade Company (ASTRA).

- The Russian Crab Company announced Alexander Anatolyevich Sapozhnikov, who was the head of the firm, has died.

“Alexander Anatolyevich had a strong character, was decisive and fair, knew how to unite people around him, and captivate them in achieving their goals,” the company said in a release. “He always motivated his team to go further, develop, and not stop there. His special energy is charged with optimism and confidence. He was a true leader and a talented leader. His passing was an irreparable loss for each of us.”

Anatolyevich led the company during its fleet composition and construction, as well as in its operation of modern crab catchers began and expansion into new markets. 

“Persistence in achieving goals, faith in the team, and strategic vision allowed him to confidently lead the company through the challenges of recent times,” the company said. 

- Royal Park, Australia-based Clean Seas Seafood has appointed David Di Blasio as CFO, effective 11 June. 

Di Blasio previously held senior finance positions at Yumbah Aquaculture, Cooper Energy, and Santos, and has worked in auditing and assurance at PwC, the company said in a release

Clean Seas said its previous CFO, David Brown, resigned to pursue an opportunity outside of the company.

"David Brown has made an outstanding contribution to Clean Seas over the last seven years, having served as our CFO for the last four years,“ Clean Seas CEO Robert Gratton said. “He leaves a strong legacy, and we wish him well in his future role."

- Brazil-based aquaculture cooperative and tilapia producer C. Vale appointed Edio José Schreiner as its executive director. 

Schreiner previously held the role of sales division manager and has been with the company for 48 years. He has worked in numerous roles across the company, including administration, commercial supervision, machinery management, parts and accessories, and supply, according to news outlet Amanhã.

- Bordeaux, France-based aquaculture tech firm BioMarine has hired Svein Brudeseth Tveiten as head of textile products to focus on building sea lice skirts.

Tveiten has a background in producing lice skirts for aquaculture purposes and operates a business that focuses on lice skirt production and freshwater ponds based on various types of textiles.

"Nature is unpredictable, while aquaculture requires predictability. More and more companies are choosing to install systems that ensure a good pen environment, even during periods with challenging external conditions. As fish farmers increasingly prepare to protect fish, we are seeing a rising demand for water circulation, oxygenation, monitoring, and also lice skirts," BioMarine Marketing Manager Nils Hovden said in a release.

Tveiten also has extensive experience manufacturing patented solutions used for aquaculture, according to BioMarine.

"Through previous collaboration, we know well what Svein stands for," Hovden said. “We are looking forward to having him on the team as BioMarine develops a complete package within the cage environment."

- Niels Bontje has left his role as managing director at IJmuiden, The Netherlands-based seafood firm Cornelis Vrolijk. Bontje was with the company for a little over two years, according to his LinkedIn. He has since joined Kramer Food Family as its COO. 

- Catherine (Chengchu) Liu has been elected to the 2024 class of Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) fellows. IFT, which is a nonprofit scientific organization committed to advancing the science of food and its application across the global food system, elects fellows based demonstration of significant service and leadership throughout their careers.

Liu worked at U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Gulf Coast Seafood Laboratory, Oregon State University, and Shanghai University, and currently serves as a tenured professor and leader of the Maryland Sea Grant Technology Extension Program at the University of Maryland. Liu has taught more than 1,500 food science students and mentored over 1,000 professionals from all over the world, according to IFT.

“I am truly honored and humbled to have been selected as part of the elite group of IFT Fellows,” Liu said in a release.

- Alaska-based Native corporation Sealaska has appointed Derik Frederiksen as vice president of regional business development. 

Frederiksen has more than 20 years of experience working with Sealaska’s operations in the region and beyond, Sealaska said.

“Derik brings a deep connection to and love for our region and its people,” Sealaska Executive Chair Joe Nelson said in a release. “His enthusiasm for capacity-building and his abundance mindset will be a huge asset as we continue this journey with an eye toward a strong Southeast Alaska economy 10, 50, and 100 years from now.”

Juneau, Alaska-based Sealaska purchased Icelandic seafood companies IceMar and AG Seafood and sold Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.-based Orca Bay Seafoods in 2021.

“Rural communities are culturally and economically significant, and we at Sealaska need to find ways to empower their important work to be as successful as possible,” Frederiksen said. “Our people have been in Southeast Alaska for at least 13,000 years, and I’d like to see us in Southeast Alaska for the next 13,000 years. For that to happen, we need economically viable communities, providing living wage job opportunities that empower individuals to stay because that’s how we’re going to continue regenerating our culture.” 

- The Kurt Grinnell Aquaculture Scholarship Foundation (KGASF) has appointed Jaiden Grinnell Bosick as its new president.  

Bosick will lead the 12-person board and continue to direct the KGASF’s Scholarship Selection Committee, a role she has held since the organization was founded in 2022, the company said in a release.

“I am honored that the board has entrusted me with the responsibility of assisting members of Indigenous communities who seek to further their education in natural resources, fisheries, and aquaculture,” Bosick said.

The nonprofit organization, based in Gig Harbor, Washington, U.S.A., was founded to honor the legacy of Kurt Grinnell, who was a leader and council member of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in Washington state until he passed away in 2021. Bosick is Grinnell's daughter.

The organization has also added three new board members:  Matt Deines, CEO of First Federal Bank; M. Scarlett Tudor, education and outreach coordinator at the University of Maine Orono; and Teri King, the regional aquaculture coordinator for Oregon and Washington at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

SeafoodSource Premium

Become a Premium member to unlock the rest of this article.

Continue reading ›

Already a member? Log in ›


Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500
Secondary Featured Article