Øyvind Ihle, new CEO of the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative

He replaces Lisa Goché, who has held the position on an interim basis since February 2023, following the resignation of the previous CEO, Herman Wise.
Øyvind Ihle, CEO of the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI).

With extensive experience in the seafood and marine ingredients sector, Øyvind Ihle has held several leadership positions in sustainability and innovation.

Photo: Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI).

"Feeling honoured and excited in equal amounts to take over the reins as Chief Executive Officer of the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI)." This was stated by Øyvind Ihle in the LinkedIn post in which he shared that he is the new CEO of GSSI.

"Having witnessed GSSI’s impact firsthand, levelling the playing field, empowering its partners, and expanding sustainable sourcing options, I will do my utmost to ensure everyone partnering with GSSI gets to experience similar impacts," he added.

The executive brings to the position extensive experience in the seafood and marine ingredients industry, having held several leadership roles in sustainability and innovation.

Over a year of searching for the right person

Ihle - who has been in the role for just one week - replaces Lisa Goché, who has held the position on an interim basis for more than a year. At the end of January 2023, former GSSI CEO Herman Wisse announced he was stepping down. At the same time, the organization posted a job offer on its LinkedIn profile.

In the release announcing Øyvind Ihle's appointment, the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative noted that Goche's time at the helm of the organization was marked by "exceptional leadership" that established a solid foundation on which her successor will continue to build for future growth and impact.

Also at the release, Ingrid Kelling, Co-Chair of the GSSI Steering Board, welcomed the new CEO. "Øyvind brings a wealth of experience in sustainability and leadership from his previous roles at prominent environmental and consumer-focused organizations," she said.

"His proven track record in driving impactful initiatives and fostering industry collaboration aligns succinctly with our mission.Øyvind's expertise and vision will advance GSSI’s commitment to promoting sustainable seafood practices globally. We look forward to the positive impact he will make to our organization and the broader industry," Kelling added.

The long journey that ended up in seafood

A Norwegian national, as he told WeAreAquaculture in his TalentView interview, in his long career Øyvind Ihle has been through many countries and companies, and different sectors. "A long journey to end up in seafood where I'm happy," he said then.

The new CEO of the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative has spent the last decade promoting health and sustainability in seafood value chains, in companies such as BASF (Omega-3), DSM/Veramaris (algae feed ingredients), Avramar (sea bass and sea bream farming) or, more recently, the Board of Directors of Zooca (zooplankton for feed and nutraceuticals), so he was already familiar with the work of the GSSI.

"I have experienced the power of GSSI firsthand, adding tremendous value to us at Avramar," he said commenting on his appointment. "They significantly elevated our sustainability efforts, enhanced our value proposition, and opened up new avenues for business growth. GSSI now has the chance to catalyze sustainability advancements throughout the industry, empowering others to achieve the same transformative impact we've witnessed at Avramar."

Furthermore, given the growing need to preserve aquatic resources and the increasing pressure on the supply chain to validate ESG claims, in his post on LinkedIn, GSSI's CEO emphasized the need to use collaboration as a key tool to achieve it. "In a world where aquatic resources face increasing pressure, collaboration is the only way forward. Let’s work towards more sustainable seafood for everyone, raising the standards across the entire sector," Øyvind Ihle stated.

About the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative

The Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) is a public-private partnership working towards the goal of turning seafood "into a driver for good to preserve oceans for future generations and drive forward more sustainable seafood for everyone."

GSSI drives the credibility of various assurance programs and connects a broader range of entities - businesses, governments, NGOs, and international organizations - than any other sustainability initiative in the industry. Its partners also benefit from the levelling of the playing field and the expansion of sustainable sourcing options.

Related Stories

No stories found.