The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) said it’s strengthening its presence in North America with the appointments of Erika Feller and Kurtis Hayne.
Feller, formerly of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, assumed the role of regional director of the Americas for MSC on 12 July, the organization announced in a press release. She brings more than two decades of experience to the position, specializing in fisheries and cross-sector partnerships, and will be based in Washington, D.C., U.S.A., MSC said.
During her time with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Feller oversaw investment in improved fishery monitoring and coastal resilience. She also aided in recovering resources in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
After getting her start as a legislative and policy adviser on natural resource and environmental issues in the U.S. House of Representatives, Feller joined the Nature Conservancy and later served on the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Currently, she is the chair of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, which advises the U.S. Secretary of Commerce on all living marine resource matters that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce.
Hayne has been promoted to program director of MSC’s Canada division, leading strategy in the country. Most recently, he served as senior commercial and fisheries manager for Canada West for MSC. Before coming to MSC, Hayne worked with SeaChoice, RiverWatch, and the Coral Cay Conservation, and has nearly a decade of experience in the seafood, fisheries, and ocean conservation spaces.
“I am delighted to welcome Erika to the MSC. Erika brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the sustainable seafood movement, as well as multistakeholder and solutions focused coalition building that will accelerate MSC’s work across the region to recognize and encourage sustainable fishing practices that support healthy marine ecosystems. I’m also pleased to recognize Kurtis Hayne, recently appointed as Canada’s program director. There is a huge opportunity to grow public awareness of sustainable seafood in the Americas and I look forward to working with Erika, Kurtis, and the broader team in achieving that,” MSC Chief Executive Rupert Howes said.
As regional director, Feller will lead a team of approximately 30 staff in Canada, the U.S., and Latin America, and will work closely with Hayne as well as two other program directors: Cristian Vallejos in Latin America and Eric Critchlow in the U.S.
Both appointments comes at a time when the sustainable seafood movement in the Americas is gaining momentum, MSC said, “with fisheries continuing to engage in the program, strong supply chain commitments, and increased visibility of the MSC blue fish label on seafood products."
“The vast majority (82.31 percent) of commercially-landed seafood in the U.S., and more than half (57.6 percent) in Canada, is engaged in the MSC program, accounting for 4.25 million metric tons of seafood caught every year. A further 1.4 million metric tons originate from fisheries engaged with the MSC program in Latin America,” according to the organization.