Cooke Seafood appoints new US public affairs director

Steven-Hedlund-Cooke-Aquaculture

Cooke Seafood has appointed Steve Hedlund from the Global Seafood Alliance as its new director of Public Affairs in the United States.

Mr. Hedlund (pictured) is an experienced leader in seafood communications, public affairs, event management and media relations.

He joins family-owned Cooke from his most recent role as spokesperson for the Seafood Alliance (GSA) and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), the world’s largest aquaculture certification program.

“We are thrilled to welcome Steven to Cooke Aquaculture USA in Maine,” said Joel Richardson, Vice President of Public Relations at Cooke Inc.

“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.”

Mr. Hedlund will work collaboratively with fellow Cooke employees, area residents and stakeholders on various municipal, state and federal policy and opportunities to support the company’s growing workforce, local marine supply chain and to maximise social and economic benefits of the Maine salmon aquaculture industry.

As the only ocean-raised Atlantic salmon producer in America, Cooke Aquaculture USA said it is proud to be a major employer of over 200 people in Maine.

Since 2004, the company has operated certified freshwater hatcheries, a processing plant, and saltwater farms. Cooke’s Atlantic salmon raised in Maine without antibiotics is available across New England at fine grocers.

Mr. Hedlund will also work with the Maine Aquaculture Association, the lead trade group connecting fishing and aquaculture seafood communities, which contributes over US $3.2 billion a year to the Maine economy.

In addition, he will 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.

Hedlund said: “I am excited to be joining Cooke at a time when US fishermen and fish farmers are working hard to help meet our country’s growing seafood demand.”

“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.”

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