GAA’s Jeff Fort Takes on Role as COO
The Global Aquaculture Alliance announced in late November that Jeff Fort has agreed to take on the role of chief operating officer, effectively immediately, in addition to his existing role as chief financial officer, a position he has held with the organization since 2012.
Fort has been involved with GAA since its inception in 1997. His company, Delta Blue Aquaculture, is a GAA Founding Member. Fort is currently a member of the GAA board of directors and GAA executive committee.
“Jeff has supported GAA since its inception in many capacities and has been instrumental recently with the consolidation of operations and staffing in our Portsmouth, N.H., headquarters,” said GAA Executive Director Wally Stevens. “The professionalism and performance of our associates is what distinguishes GAA, and Jeff can rightly take a good deal of credit for getting us to where we are today.”
Fort was an officer and board member of the Aquaculture Certification Council, predecessor of the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification program. He has been owner and CEO of Delta Blue Aquaculture since 1992, and his shrimp farm in Belize was the world’s first aquaculture farm to attain BAP certification. He has also been owner of Utah-based seafood distributor Fog River LLC since 2009 and a partner in Vermont-based online wildflower retailer AmericanMeadows.com since 2008.
“I have been a supporter of GAA since its inception, first as a shrimp aquaculture producer and then as a volunteer contributing time. For the last few years, I’ve been fully immersed in the strategy and operations. I am very passionate about the work GAA does and the impacts we have on global aquaculture audiences. GAA and the BAP program offer a very unique set of solutions, tools and assurances for the entire seafood supply chain. This approach sets GAA apart, and I am excited to continue to build on this success,” said Fort, who will continue to work out of GAA’s Portsmouth office.
BAP is the world’s most comprehensive third-party aquaculture certification program, with standards encompassing environmental responsibility, social responsibility, food safety, animal health and welfare and traceability. It’s the only program to cover the entire aquaculture production chain — processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills.
Through the first three-quarters of 2017, the number of BAP-certified facilities totaled 1,794 worldwide.
In addition to BAP, GAA is involved in a number of pre-competitive activities to fulfill its mission of promoting responsible aquaculture practices through education, advocacy and demonstration, including the annual GOAL conference, Global Aquaculture Advocate news publication, MyGAA online community, GAA Films, GAA Academy learning platform and GAA membership.
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.