GAA Appoints Industry Veteran Brian Perkins As COO
Seafood industry veteran Brian Perkins is joining the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) as its chief operating officer, the organization announced on Jan. 18, 2021.
Perkins comes to GAA with more than 40 years of seafood experience in the certification space as well as in the events and media space. For the past six years, he has acted as Regional Director Americas for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the world’s leading wild fisheries certification program. At MSC, Perkins 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. He also established strong working relationships with other NGOs and industry.
Perkins comes at a critical time for GAA as it expands from aquaculture to wild fisheries with the addition of the Seafood Processing Plant Standard Issue 5.0 and the Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard, which is owned by GAA’s sister organization, 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.
In addition to developing and implementing strategies to integrate and transition to the Global Seafood Alliance, Perkins will be responsible for managing Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), the world’s leading third-party aquaculture certification program, including oversight of the BAP market development team, program integrity team and certification team.
“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,” said GAA CEO Wally Stevens.
Added Stevens, “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 has four decades of experience in the seafood industry, starting out working in a salt fish factory in Iceland and a small fishing boat out of Grimsey, Iceland, after which he spent nearly a decade as a commercial fisherman in Maine.
“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,” said Perkins. “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.”
The COO will be based out of GAA’s Portsmouth, New Hampshire, headquarters, reporting to GAA CEO Wally Stevens. The new COO role was added to the organization with the intent that he or she would transition to the CEO role in due time.
The Global Aquaculture Alliance is an international, nonprofit trade association dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture. Through the development of its Best Aquaculture Practices certification standards, GAA has become the leading standards-setting organization for aquaculture seafood.