MSC's Brian Perkins joining GAA as its new chief operating officer

Published on
January 19, 2021

The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) has hired Brian Perkins as its chief operating officer.

GAA announced on 18 January that Perkins, who has more than 40 years of experience working in the seafood industry, will be joining the organization. GAA said the COO role was created with the intent that the seat-holder will eventually transition to the position of CEO, lining Perkins up to eventually take over leadership of the organization.

“The seafood community thrives on trusted personal relationships cultivated and tested over time. It benefits not only when individuals do well by their company, but equally when those individuals contribute to the greater good through their involvement in pre-competitive activities. Brian Perkins’ career is an example of the attributes we look for in all our associates, and I am personally delighted that he will be joining us as our COO,” GAA CEO Wally Stevens said. “We’re fortunate in that we’ve had a fruitful working relationship with Brian since his days at Diversified Communications, where he oversaw the company’s seafood expositions and publications. He comes with a wealth of knowledge in events and media that will be applied to GAA’s activities.”

Perkins comes to the role most recently from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), where he served for the past six years as regional director for the Americas. Through his work with the MSC, Perkins established many lasting relationships with NGOs and other industry stakeholders, and “built a strong team that energized the program in the Americas region, increasing consumer awareness, the number of MSC-labeled products, and the number of participants engaged with the MSC program,” according to the GAA press release.

The arrival of Perkins comes at a “critical time for GAA,” which recently expanded into the wild fisheries sector with the introduction of the Seafood Processing Plant Standard Issue 5.0 and the Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard, owned by its sister company, Global Seafood Assurances.

“Over the course of 2021, operations and outputs of GAA and Global Seafood Assurances will merge under one roof, called the Global Seafood Alliance,” GAA said.

The development and implementation of strategies to aid in this transition is at the top of Perkins’ to-do list as COO, the organization said. He will also be responsible for the management of GAA’s third-party Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification program, “including oversight of the BAP market development team, program integrity team, and certification team,” according to GAA.

After getting his start in seafood working in a salt fish factory in Iceland and on a small fishing boat out Grimsey, Perkins went on to spend almost a decade as a commercial fisherman in the U.S. state of Maine. He’ll return to the New England area for his new position, which will be based out of GAA’s Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based headquarters. 

“I am very excited to be joining GAA and to help transition the organization to the Global Seafood Alliance. This is a unique opportunity to work across both wild and farmed seafood, helping to ensure it is responsibly produced and handled throughout the supply chain. Seafood is critical to the world’s food portfolio,” Perkins said. “The concept of filling in the gaps of assurances to include, for example, social responsibility in wild seafood harvesting and processing is the right idea at the right time. I look forward to leveraging my experience and knowledge to help contribute to the development of the sustainable seafood industry.”

Photo courtesy of Brian Perkins/GAA

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