After seven years as executive director of the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), Wally Stevens will be transitioning to a leadership role with the Responsible Aquaculture Foundation (RAF), a charitable organization established by the GAA to offer education and training in support of responsible aquaculture.
Under Stevens’ leadership, the GAA has experienced unprecedented growth over the past seven years, evolving into the world’s leading standards-setting organization for aquaculture, through the development of its Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification system. More than 600 aquaculture facilities worldwide are now BAP-certified, and combined annual output is about 1.5 million metric tons of processed product.
“GAA, like any organization, should be judged not only by what they stand for but of greater importance for what it gets done,” said Stevens. “We are a learning-and-teaching organization that advocates for growing supplies of aquaculture production done responsibly. I believe that GAA has and will continue to be a positive, science-based supporter which will make a difference for aquaculture not only where it exists today, but also in countries around the world where there are needs and opportunities.”
Stevens will continue to act as GAA executive director through a transition period. He will chair a search committee, along with GAA President George Chamberlain and Bill Herzig, GAA vice president and president of Darden Aquafarm Inc., to find a suitable replacement to recommend to the GAA board of directors. Stevens will work with the new executive director as he or she transitions into the job.
He will also continue to serve on the GAA board of directors as he takes on a leadership role with the RAF.
With the RAF, Stevens will work to attract foundation support to promote the education and training of a new generation of leadership in the global aquaculture industry. Since its inception, RAF has undertaken a number of projects with World Bank support, including research on infectious salmon anemia in Chile, early mortality syndrome in shrimp in Vietnam, and white spot syndrome virus in shrimp in Mozambique and Madagascar.
Currently, the RAF is finalizing a project with Steve Otwell of the University of Florida involving food safety, working with fish farmers and processors in Malaysia.
The St. Louis, Missouri, USA-headquartered Global Aquaculture Alliance is an international, non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture