Doing things differently: A year of seafood entrepreneurs

December 24, 2013, 5:13 pm

From veteran aquaculturists to cutting-edge traceability pioneers, our seafood entrepreneur interviews have focused on those who started their own companies, looked to do something different in the world of seafood, or both.

Below you can look back at the interviews we’ve featured in the past year. If you’ve started your own seafood business, are innovating in your sector, or if you know someone that you’d consider an entrepreneur, let us know – we like to meet new people!

In the first of the series, the founder of Canadian seafood firm Tradex told Undercurrent News he was trying to stand out from the crowd by communicating with and educating consumers – as evidenced by Rob Reierson’s weekly videos news updates.

MalekJerzy Malek (pictured), who changed the salmon processing business with Morpol, believed Norwegian salmon farmers are too far removed from their customers, and Chileans even more so.

Australian aquaculture researcher and businessman Neil Anthony Sims has made a career from balancing cutting-edge research with commercial focus, but it hasn’t been without its difficulties. One year on, and plans to operate out of Mexico rather than Hawaii are complete.

One West Coast seafood distributor- Kanaloa Seafood – counted Julia Child among its customers. It’s had to persuade customers to spend that little bit more on quality products

In November 2012 Foley Fish president Laura Foley Ramsden spoke to Undercurrent about her journey from PR to fish processor co-owner.

British entrepreneur Toby Baxendale has featured in several stories over the year. In his interview he told Undercurrent he was glad he didn’t sell his business to a private equity, or British Seafood.

Scottish caterer to the world’s elite, founder of salmon farmer Loch Duart, Nick Joy, believes a commitment to best practices gives it strength in the marketplace, as well as the advantage.

Fortune Fish Company president Sean O’Scannlain hoped the US government would wake up to the need for a shift in policy on aquaculture soon, while online buying portal founder Keith Flett believed the time was right for the industry to see a change in how seafood is bought and sold.

To Russia, where Agama co-founder Yury Alasheev (pictured) saw changes ahead for his firm, even after it completed its transformation from distributor to producer.Yury Alasheev

The creation of Viviers de France — the €90-million revenue fish farmer and processor that is now part of Norway Seafoods — all started with a faltering trout farming project in southwestern France, said its co-founder Arnault Chaperon.

After 26 years in Asia, the founder of shrimp and seafood supplier Siam Canadian, Jim Gulkin, understands the challenges and importance of long-term business

Organizer of the China Fisheries & Seafood Expo – and former journalist – Peter Redmayne, told Undercurrent how the show, and the country, has evolved.

Arturo Clement, founder of another online trading marketplace, SalmonEx, told Undercurrent he was out to replace the salmon spot market with his online version.

Wild Planet Foods president Bill Carvalho told how he sells FAD-free, branded canned tuna for a premium in the US, as he mulls the European market

When Icicle’s hiring of Amy Humphreys as CEO in February highlighted the lack of women in the seafood industry — Coastal Seafoods founder and CEO Suzanne Weinstein has been at it for three decades.

Aquaculture expert Andrew Kaelin has seen aquaculture projects evolve from rush jobs in the earliest days of the business, into commercial success stories which have huge potential for developing countries.

For 33 years, Callisto and Coolnova owner Arne Behncke worked at Ford Motor Company as a salesman but, living with his wife in Belgium after his retirement, he felt he wanted to do something for his home country of Norway.

Pole-and-line fishing alone would leave the world hungry for tuna, while FADs are necessary for efficient catching, Albacora president Ignacio ‘Inaki’ Lachaga told green activists at the Vigo tuna conference in September.

Just over a year into its LA food truck launch, Cousins Maine Lobster truck has a rolodex of fans begging the company to set up brick and mortar locations.

With backing from US investors, Hanver Li set out in 2002 to address China’s lack of available market and price commodities data, forming what is now Shanghai JC Intelligence Co.

Protein made from black soldier flies uses recycled food waste, and offers ‘significant savings’ over fishmeal, says Enterra president and CEO Brad Marchant.

Startup Icelandic Fish hopes to both increase catch value and bring responsible fishing up-to-date by partnering technology with fishing and processing, said Thorsteinn Masson, sales and marketing manager and co-founder.

Iceland is the place to be for technology it seems, with Thor Sigfusson creating a ‘dating service’ for seafood tech players.

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