The Alliance Board
The Alliance Board is a group of leaders in the responsible seafood movement that, together with the Alliance staff and the Alliance’s fiscal sponsor, are committed to providing guidance, support, and strategic oversight to the Alliance on behalf of the broader Global Hub community.
INDEPENDENT FISHERIES ADVISOR
Francisco Blaha’s experience ranges across the fisheries sector since the 1980s, starting the deck of a fishing vessel he worked his way to his present position as an independent senior fisheries advisor for over 30 multilateral organizations, governments, NGOs, technology providers, and industry groups on a wide range of areas, in more than 55 countries worldwide. Besides his skipper’s ticket, he gained an MSc in Fisheries Science and then another in Food Science along the way. He has researched published widely for FAO, FFA, and other organizations on a variety of topics such as fisheries compliance, Port State Measures, traceability, Catch Documentation Schemes, fishers labor rights, plastic waste from FV, blockchain in seafood value chains, and seafood market access among other areas of his interest.
Originally from Argentina but based in the South Pacific since 1991, he is comfortable in fishing boats, factories, and boardrooms (mostly in that order) and works in three languages. He maintains an archive of his publications and fisheries blog on his website and was presented the 2019 Seafood Champion Award for his work on MCS capacity building and fisherman labor rights.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SMARTFISH
Cecilia Blasco is the Executive Director of the Mexican NGO SmartFish. She joined the organization in 2016 and leads a committed, multi-disciplinary team that is unlocking market incentives for sustainably caught seafood in Mexico. SmartFish incubates small-scale fisher co-ops to improve their fishing, handling, processing, and business practices to produce premium quality seafood that is independently verifiable as sustainable or improving. Their buyer engagement program follows CASS’ model and supports retailers and foodservice companies to develop sustainable sourcing policies. Cecilia has over 20 years of experience working on solutions to address environmental degradation and enhance community well-being. She has a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a BA in Geography from Dartmouth College. She enjoys spending time in Mexico’s exceptional natural landscapes and paddle boarding in La Paz bay with her dogs.
SENIOR ASSOCIATE, CEA CONSULTING
A scientist and storyteller, Dr. Marah J. Hardt works at the crossroads of science, strategy, and creative communication to build a sustainable future for people and the sea. Since 2008, Marah has worked closely with entrepreneurs and innovators to identify solutions to the global overfishing crisis, including re-designing local seafood supply chains, breakthrough aquaculture, increasing adoption of traceability and electronic data systems, understanding climate impacts to coral reefs, and sustainable blue economy development. Marah is the author of the popular science book, SEX IN THE SEA (St. Martin’s Press, 2016) and has been published in scientific journals, books, and popular magazines and is a frequent public speaker on ocean conservation and sustainable fisheries. She received her Ph.D. in marine science from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2007, and a B.A. in History of Science from Harvard University in 2000. She is grateful to live on the Big Island, Hawaii where she spends as much time in the sea as possible.
PROGRAM DIRECTOR, FIP EVALUATION & EXTERNAL RELATIONS, SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES PARTNERSHIP
Indrani (Drin) Lutchman is SFP’s Program Director for FIP Evaluations and External Relations, responsible for FIP progress ratings and maintenance of SFP evaluation tool. She is a marine biologist and fisheries scientist with extensive experience of leading successful projects/programs on marine and fisheries issues in Europe, Caribbean, Antarctica and UK Overseas Territories including the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar funding by governmental and non-governmental donors including the European Commission Parliament, the Oak Foundation, Pew Charitable Trust, Avina Foundation and the Marine Stewardship Council. She led the WWF advocacy campaign during the negotiations of the UN Agreement on Straddling and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (UNFSA) and the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing, and contributed to the establishment of the principles for sustainable fishing – used as the basis for the criteria and principles of the MSC standard.
OPERATIONS MANAGER, FISH SAFETY FOUNDATION
Darren is the Operations Manager for the FISH Safety Foundation (FSF) – an international non-profit organization based in New Zealand that is dedicated to improving health & safety outcomes in global fishing. He has worked on, and project managed fishing safety intervention projects in the Philippines, Bangladesh, and in the Pacific Islands. These projects involved liaising with in-country project partners and local communities to design and implement much-needed safety training programs to be implemented within small scale fishing communities. Darren has vast experience within the employment relations and labor law consultancy areas in advisory roles, and as a trainer and facilitator. This includes work in collective bargaining, dispute and grievance resolution, and guidance on the implementation of labor law and safety obligations and processes. He has also worked in the areas of human resource and compliance management. Darren is a graduate of Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, having obtained Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees. He lives on the Kapiti Coast in the North Island of New Zealand.
HEAD, SOCIAL POLICY, MARINE STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL
Yemi currently has responsibility for the development and implementation of MSC’s policy and requirements on social issues. Prior to this, she led MSC’s Global Accessibility program which functioned to increase access of the program to small scale and developing world fisheries. She has over 20 years of experience working on sustainable seafood, fisheries certification standards and ecolabelling, with extensive experience on the development and implementation of policy and tools to facilitate sustainability and certification in small-scale and fisheries in the global south and experience working at the intersection of environmental and social issues in fisheries. Prior to working at the MSC, she spent several years as a lecturer at the Lagos State University, Nigeria, where she was involved in teaching and research in aquaculture, fisheries resource management and marine ecology.
LEAD SEAFOOD STEWARDSHIP INDEX, WORLD BENCHMARKING ALLIANCE
Helen leads the Seafood Stewardship Index at WBA. She joined WBA in July 2020, and is responsible for ensuring the benchmark methodology reflects stakeholder expectations, preparing benchmark reports of key seafood companies and engaging with stakeholders to further enhance the use of the benchmark. Helen believes that companies have a central role to play in the transition towards a sustainable world and that benchmarks can be a powerful tool to incentivize change while at the same time improve society’s understanding of the role of business in achieving sustainability. Prior to joining the WBA, Helen led Anova Food USA’s sustainability programs since 2014, collaborating with fishers, fishing companies, and NGOs in the implementation of improvement projects in SE Asia and the South Pacific. Helen holds a BSc in Marine Biology from Swansea University (UK) and an MSc in Aquaculture and Fisheries Management from Wageningen University (NL).
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, GLOBAL SEAFOOD ALLIANCE
Brian Perkin’s introduction to the seafood industry was in June 1974 working in a salt fish factory in Grimsey, Iceland. That winter of 1974/75 he worked on a small island-based boat tub trawling, and then in the spring gillnetting for lumpfish. Over the ensuing 40+ years he has spent a majority of his work life involved in one manner or another with the commercial fishing and seafood industry, including nearly a decade as a commercial fisherman. In 1992 he began working for Diversified Business Communications, organizers of the Seafood shows in Boston and Brussels. Brian was instrumental in launching The European Seafood Exposition in Brussels in 1993. His 16-year tenure running the largest seafood shows in the world provides him a unique perspective on the industry and also earned him the respect of many stakeholders. In 2015 he joined the Marine Stewardship Council as Regional Director Americas. In March 2021 Brian joined GAA as COO. His new role includes transitioning Global Aquaculture Alliance to Global Seafood Alliance.
FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, QINGDAO MARINE CONSERVATION SOCIETY
Songlin has 20 years of experience in China’s marine conservation and sustainable seafood movement. His career path includes working for The Nature Conservancy, Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF China and WWF International), and The Paulson Institute (PI). Songlin led Ocean Outcomes’ China team during 2015-2018. In 2016 he helped establish the Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s China program and has been serving as a strategic advisor. In 2017, Songlin founded and since has been chairing Qingdao Marine Conservation Society (QMCS), a young and professional Chinese environmental NGO focusing on coastal & marine ecosystem conservation and seafood sustainability. Songlin majored in marine ecology at the Ocean University of China as an undergraduate and then obtained a masters’ degree in environmental management at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. He is a Pew Marine Conservation Fellow.
THE ADVISORY COUNCIL
The Alliance Advisory Council is comprised of seasoned figures from throughout the sustainable seafood movement who have served on the Alliance Board in years past. Those serving on the Advisory Council provide additional guidance on strategy, tapping into their deep knowledge of the sector’s history and promise to help steer the Alliance toward measurable impact.
Tobias has contributed to the work of the Conservation Alliance since 2006. Tobias holds degrees from Stanford University and UCSD’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, where he specialized in nonprofit management and business strategy. His awards include the UCSD GPS 2018 Outstanding Alumnus Award and the Conservation Alliance Spirit award, and Tobias was named a Seafood Watch Hero by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Richard Boot is the founder and president of FishChoice.
MANAGER OF FISHERY IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS, WORLD WILDLIFE – US
As Manager of Fishery Improvement Projects on the WWF-US Oceans Team, Stephanie manages the suite of FIPs with which WWF-US is engaged, and creates linkages to sustainable sourcing strategies developed for WWF’s corporate partners.
Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly
VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL OCEAN INITIATIVES, MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM
Jennifer directs Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program, working to engage and empower North American consumers and businesses to support environmentally responsible fisheries and aquaculture operations through their purchasing decisions.
CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER, AMERICAN SEAFOODS
Tim is the first Chief Sustainability Officer at American Seafoods. In addition to continuing to drive the company’s existing environmental sustainability and social responsibility portfolio, he also helps to shape ambitious new climate and public affairs initiatives. Prior to joining American Seafoods, Fitzgerald worked for nearly two decades at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a leading international conservation organization, where he led their work with investors, multilateral institutions, and the seafood industry to improve the sustainability of global fisheries and aquaculture industries. While at EDF, he served on the boards of the California Fisheries Fund, Ecofish LLC, and GulfWild, and was an advisor to Fair Trade USA, Seafood Watch, and the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions.ge and empower North American consumers and businesses to support environmentally responsible fisheries and aquaculture operations through their purchasing decisions.
Sam Grimley works with Sea Pact’s ten North American seafood company members to collaboratively improve the sustainability of global seafood through project funding and collective action.
FOUNDER & MANAGING PARTNER,
BLUE BRIDGE CONSULTING
Rob Johnson is a seafood sustainability professional that brings together a comprehensive background in markets-based solution-oriented sustainable seafood program development, business partnership leadership, and industry procurement and supply chain management.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER,
BLUE OCEAN MARICULTURE
Dick Jones is the CEO of Blue Ocean Mariculture, currently the only open-ocean finfish aquaculture company in the US.
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL FISHERIES & AQUACULTURE, CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL
In addition to his position with Conservational International’s Center for Oceans, Jack is also a Professor of Practice in Arizona State University’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Under his leadership, CI works to protect biodiversity and improve the wellbeing of ocean-dependent communities by implementing sustainable fisheries and aquaculture solutions built on partnerships and investments from ocean to plate.
FOUNDER AND MANAGER, TAVURA, LTD.
For more than 20 years, Meredith has worked with non-profits, foundations, and industry partners to conceptualize new initiatives, build support for them, and design the strategies that put them on a path to success. At Tavura, Meredith uses this experience to help her clients achieve strategic clarity about what they want to achieve and how to move from concept to implementation to impact.
PRINCIPAL AND MANAGER, SCALING BLUE
Jesse Marsh is the Principal and Manager of Scaling Blue, an independent consultancy founded in 2014. Scaling Blue helps non-profit organizations, foundations, the private sector, and other stakeholders scale their collective impact to achieve more sustainable fisheries and communities.
GLOBAL MARKETS DIRECTOR, SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES PARTNERSHIP
Kathryn oversees SFP’s programmatic work with global market engagement, biodiversity, and communications. She joined SFP in 2009 and helped to shape the development of SFP’s partnership work with industry to advance fishery and aquaculture improvement efforts.
DIRECTOR, SMALL-SCALE FISHERIES AT WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY
Hoyt Peckham has worked for more than 20 years to ensure that oceans and those who depend on them thrive. Hoyt is the Director of Small-scale Fisheries within the Global Marine Program of WCS.
DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC ENGAGEMENTS, GLOBAL AQUACULTURE ALLIANCE
Melanie Siggs has extensive experience working internationally across both commercial and NGO sectors addressing issues relating to food and timber, although she is best known for her work on fisheries and aquaculture in the past 10 years.