The Northwest Aquaculture Alliance (NWAA), the driving force for sustainable aquaculture in the region, today announced the election of two new officers to lead the organization.
Stepping into the role of NWAA president is Jim Parsons, general manager of Seattle-based Cooke Aquaculture Pacific, LLC. The new vice-president is Kurt Grinnell, CEO of Jamestown Seafood, a collaborative effort with the Sequim, Washington-based Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.
“Both Parsons and Grinnell are strong proponents of locally produced seafood as a food security measure, and both offer years of experience in the seafood industry,” said NWAA executive director, Jeanne McKnight. “We are pleased that the Board has voted unanimously to support this new NWAA leadership team, and we are confident that the region will benefit greatly from further responsible development of a strong aquaculture sector to help reduce our country’s reliance on imported seafood.”
NWAA advocates for finfish and shellfish aquaculture producers and hundreds of supply chain businesses in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia. Its members encompass all aspects of the aquaculture industry, from marine farms to land-based operations to freshwater producers, to technology companies, vessel operators, processors, feed companies, egg producers, and animal health businesses. The sector is becoming a significant employer in the region, providing living-wage jobs as well as career opportunities for people in rural areas where jobs are scarce.
“Every day, new scientific research is coming to light, showing that eating seafood—farmed and wild—is beneficial for our overall health at every age,” McKnight said. “Given the need for environmentally sustainable, locally produced food, the United States, which currently ranks 16th globally in aquaculture production, is taking bold steps to becoming a major player in aquaculture. These new measures, including the establishment of Aquaculture Opportunity Areas, will attract investment and more jobs to support vibrant working waterfronts and end our trade imbalance. Our region possesses the natural resources, technology expertise, and labor base to become a major global aquaculture producer and make significant economic and social impacts in rural coastal communities,” she added.
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