Steven Hedlund has been appointed Director of Public Affairs at Cooke Aquaculture USA.
Steven Hedlund has been appointed Director of Public Affairs at Cooke Aquaculture USA.Photo: Cooke Aquaculture Inc.

GSA's Steven Hedlund signs with Cooke

The well-known executive of the Global Seafood Alliance will be the Director of Public Affairs for Cooke Aquaculture USA.

Global Seafood Alliance (GSA) and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) spokesperson Steven Hedlund has been appointed Director of Public Affairs at Cooke Aquaculture USA. Hedlund, a well-known and experienced leader in seafood communications, public affairs, event management and media relations, will leave his current position on December 29 to join the Cooke team in Maine.

According to Cooke's note on the appointment, in collaboration with his colleagues, area residents and stakeholders, he will work on state and federal policy and opportunities to support the company's growing workforce, the local marine supply chain and to maximize the social and economic benefits of Maine's salmon aquaculture industry.

Decades of experience in the seafood industry

"We are thrilled to welcome Steven to Cooke Aquaculture USA in Maine," said Joel Richardson, Vice President of Public Relations, Cooke Inc. on the appointment. "He brings an impressive set of skills from decades of experience in the seafood industry, and he is passionate about environmentally sustainable seafood production, promoting the benefits of aquaculture in the local food system, and preserving Maine’s heritage of a vibrant working waterfront."

"I am excited to be joining Cooke at a time when U.S. fishermen and fish farmers are working hard to help meet our country’s growing seafood demand," Hedlund said for his part. "There is a tremendous opportunity for Maine to lead the way with sustainable seafood production, and salmon farming is at the forefront of that opportunity."

"I’ve called Maine home for 30 years, and I’m beyond excited by the opportunity to help advance responsible seafood production in Maine by applying my experience with the Global Seafood Alliance and Best Aquaculture Practices," he added.

Contributing to the future of aquaculture and seafood in Maine

Moreover, on his LinkedIn profile, Steven Hedlund said he is "absolutely thrilled" about the next chapter of his career with the Cooke Inc. family and appreciated the opportunity to represent Cooke Aquaculture USA and its more than 200 employees throughout Maine and to contribute directly to the future of aquaculture and seafood in the state.

Cooke Aquaculture USA is the only producer of ocean-raised Atlantic salmon in the United States. Since 2004, the company has operated certified freshwater hatcheries, a processing plant and saltwater farms in Maine where it raises its Atlantic salmon without antibiotics.

In addition to the company, Hedlund will also work with the Maine Aquaculture Association (MAA), a leading trade group that connects the seafood fishing and aquaculture communities and contributes more than USD 3.2 billion (EUR 2.9 billion) a year to Maine's economy. He will also support Cooke's membership in the National Aquaculture Association (NAA), which provides a unified national voice for aquaculture that ensures its sustainability, protects its profitability, and encourages its development in an environmentally responsible manner.

About Cooke Aquaculture USA

Owned by Cooke Aquaculture Inc. of the Canadian Cooke family group, Cooke Aquaculture USA has been a part of the Downeast Maine community for more than a decade, since it purchased the east coast operations of some of its larger competitors that had decided to leave the area. From the beginning, the company took a collaborative approach with both government regulators and non-governmental organizations to rebuild a sustainable salmon farming industry in Maine.

Cooke currently operates marine fish farms in three areas of the state: Eastport, Machiasport, and Points South, including Black Island South near Bar Harbor. It also operates three freshwater hatcheries at Gardner Lake, Bingham, and Oquossoc. Value-added processing takes place at the Machiasport facility, providing Cooke with a fully integrated operation within Maine.

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