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Wally Stevens Honored with 2018 GAA Lifetime Achievement Award

The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) is proud to announce that Wally Stevens is the recipient of this year’s GAA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Stevens accepted the recognition, which has been renamed the Wallace R. Stevens Lifetime Achievement Award in his honor, at GAA’s GOAL 2018 conference in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on Wednesday, Sept. 26.

“The thrill of having had a lifetime of achievements pales in comparison to the expectations we have for those who are the future leaders of this industry. There is so much potential for the women and men of this industry to make profound differences for themselves, their companies and society in general,” said Stevens.

Presenting the award to Stevens was Bill Herzig, recipient of the award in 2015 and a member of the GAA board of directors, as well as George Chamberlain, GAA’s president and founder.

“George and I are very proud to present the first Wallace R. Stevens Lifetime Achievement Award to our colleague, our partner, our leader, our mentor and our dearest of friends,” said Herzig during a Sept. 26 luncheon at GOAL 2018. “We are all richer because you have been a part of GAA and our lives.”

Stevens took over as executive director of GAA in 2007 and has played a critical role in the organization’s growth as the world’s leading standards-setting organization for farmed seafood. Since 2007, the number of Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)-certified processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills has ballooned from just over 100 to more than 2,000 today. Stevens was also instrumental in the formation of the multi-stakeholder Standards Oversight Committee (SOC), which oversees the BAP standards development process.

Also under Stevens’ direction, GAA, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, has asserted itself as a convener as well as a leading voice for responsible aquaculture through its suite of communications vehicles, including the GOAL conference, Global Aquaculture Advocate online magazine, MyGAA online community, GAA Films and Global Aquaculture Academy online learning platform.

Stevens’ career in seafood spans nearly five decades. He 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. He has been a volunteer with the National Fisheries Institute for years, serving as chairman in 2001 and co-founding the Future Leaders program in 1998.

In August, Stevens relinquished his role as executive director to Andrew Mallison, former director general of IFFO-The Marine Ingredients Organisation. Stevens remains a member of the GAA board of directors and GAA executive committee. Currently, he is focused on Global Seafood Assurances (GSA), a new, independent, not-for-profit organization established to meet marketplace and public expectations for assurances across the board in aquaculture and fisheries.

“When most people think of retiring, they think of quiet family time at home, restful days at the seashore and other relaxing pursuits,” said Herzig at the Sept. 26 luncheon. “But not Wally. Now he is off to lead the development of the Global Seafood Assurances — the GAA equivalent of comprehensive certification for wild seafood — to bring all seafood production into a more modern set of sustainable operating standards that ensure a successful future for the seafood industry at large. What a challenge.”

GAA has been giving out a Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual GOAL conference since 2004. The organization recognizes individuals who lead, who act with integrity, who are committed to responsible, sustainable aquaculture, and whose accomplishments contribute to the advancement of aquaculture.

Past recipients include Herzig for his role at Darden Restaurants and in the formation of GAA in 2015, Dr. Nguyen Huu Dzung of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers in 2014, Dr. Donald Lightner of the University of Arizona in 2013, Bjørn Myrseth of Stolt Sea Farm S.A. and Marine Farms ASA in 2013, I. Chiu Liao of the Taiwan Fisheries Research Institute Chingchai Lohawatanakul and Charoen Pokphand Foods PLC in 2013, Jonathan Shepherd of the International Fishmeal and Oil Organisation in 2011, Peder Jacobson of Seajoy in 2008, Li Sifa of Shanghai Fisheries University in 2008, George Williams of Darden Restaurants in 2007 and Kenneth Morrison of Morrison Enterprises in 2004.

About GAA
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.