GAA’s Wally Stevens Nominated As Seafood Champion Finalist
Congratulations to Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) Executive Director Wally Stevens, who is among the finalists for SeaWeb’s 2016 Seafood Champion Awards.
Stevens is among four finalists in the leadership category, recognizing individuals or entities who display leadership by organizing and convening seafood stakeholders in the name of sustainability.
The finalists were announced two days before the start of Seafood Expo North America (SENA) in Boston, where GAA is exhibiting in booth No. 481. The winners will be announced and honored at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in Seattle on June 5.
“I appreciate the recognition, and I thank the organizer for its efforts in encouraging seafood sustainability through recognition,” said Stevens. “The prospects for a bright future in aquaculture and seafood is evidenced by the passion of the young men and women who are entering into this space. One example is clearly the National Fisheries Institute’s Future Leaders program, which highlights the importance of leadership. Leadership is neither cosmetic or genetic. It comes as a consequence of education and experience.”
Stevens joined GAA as its executive director in 2007 and has overseen tremendous growth in the organization and its industry-leading Best Aquaculture Practices third-party certification program over the past 10 years. The number of BAP-certified processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills has ballooned from less than 125 when Stevens joined GAA in 2017 to more than 1,600 today.
A 45-year industry veteran, Stevens has held leadership positions in large, publicly traded corporations as well as start-up salmon farming operations and mid-sized, family-owned companies. His responsibilities have included all aspects of the seafood production chain, including fishing vessels, aquaculture hatcheries and farms, shoreside processing facilities, cold-storage operations, wholesale seafood distribution and manufacturing of value-added products. For much of his career, Stevens has been a volunteer with the National Fisheries Institute, where he served as chairman in 2001 and co-founded the Future Leaders program.
First presented in 2006, the Seafood Champion Awards recognize individuals and entities for outstanding leadership in promoting environmentally responsible seafood. The four categories are leadership, innovation, vision and advocacy. The Seafood Champion Awards and Seafood Summit are co-organized by Diversified Communications, organizer of SENA, Seafood Expo Global and Seafood Expo Asia and publisher of SeafoodSource.com.
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 farmed seafood.