Why change needs to start from within


For former Cermaq CEO Geir Molvik, the seafood industry has a responsibility to do our best to meet global challenges

SeaBOS is unique because it is the first time ten of the world’s largest seafood companies collaborate with science to implement a joint vision to develop more sustainable seafood production and improved ocean health. But what convinced each of these companies to join the initiative and what do they ultimately hope to achieve with it? We asked the CEOs from each company to share their vision and ambitions about SeaBOS and the future of their industry.

With an operating revenue of more than 9,100 million NOK, Cermaq is one of the leading salmon and trout companies in the world. Under the leadership of Geir Molvik, it includes some 3000 employees located across Chile, Canada and Norway. Molvik took up the position as CEO in July 2016 and will stay on until March 2022 when he will hand over the reins to Steven Rafferty, current managing director of Cermaq Chile.

During his time as CEO, Molvik has focused on improving operations in all parts of the value chain. Being the first company in the aquaculture industry to have audited sustainability reports, he has also made it a priority to turn Cermaq into a driving force in international cooperation on climate action and environmental performance in aquaculture.

“Having been in this industry from early days of childhood and education, I have been given access to research, farming, feed, and finance in Australia, Canada and Norway. I have a strong drive to optimise performance in all legs of the value chain. This cannot be done without sustainable operations.”

Geir Mollvik

How can this be done? For Molvik the short answer is transparency and cooperation. Even though Cermaq and the other members of SeaBOS are considered keystone actors of the seafood industry, they will not be able to transform the entire seafood industry themselves.

“The local presence and belonging cannot be underestimated,” he argues. Cermaq is farming salmon in coastal common waters, and it is imperative we are welcomed in the communities. Then we must identify partners to address our issues.”

Furthermore, adds Molvik, change needs to start from within the industry itself. That’s where SeaBOS comes in. “I believe we have a responsibility to do our best to meet global challenges,” he says.

“Cermaq has always engaged in industry associations, to change together from the inside. This is why we engage in partnerships such as SeaBOS. The direct collaboration between business and leading scientists makes SeaBOS unique. It fosters a strong partnership which will help us improve the entire salmon farming industry.”

The close collaboration with science also gives Molvik the confidence to push forward with the changes he wants to see. “Knowing that my views are founded on science, I can be persistent and firm. This has characterized my engagement also in other industry associations and global partnerships.”

In addition to SeaBOS, Cermaq engages in the Global Salmon Initiative, a precompetitive cooperation within the salmon industry, and the UN Global Compact Ocean Stewardship Coalition recognising that the ocean holds more than just food production and the need to cooperate with other sectors such as ocean energy, seabed mining, and shipping.

As Molvik looks to leave his post as Cermaq’s CEO, his hopes for the SeaBOS partnership are twofold: “First, I hope that together we can make real improvements in the industries’ value chains. Second, I hope that politicians will recognise aquaculture and fisheries as much more than just resources, but also as food.” This means recognising scientific assessments such as the Blue Food Assessment which demonstrates the need to increase seafood production, partly through sustainable aquaculture. “I am very optimistic for the future of aquaculture but it is time governments get on board and support more aquaculture in national waters,” he ends.

Read also about Cermaq’s current CEO Steven Rafferty and his vision for a sustainable seafood industry.


SeaBOS Keystone Project on Antimicrobial Resistance puts science-business collaboration into action

April 30, 2024

The threat of antimicrobial resistance looms large over global health. At the Busan Keystone Dialogue in October 2023, CEOs agreed to implement the Keystone Project on Antimicro...


SeaBOS provides opportunities for new members

April 19, 2024

SeaBOS consists of eight member companies worldwide working together with scientists to deliver on ten commitments for ocean stewardship. A science-industry initiative, SeaBOS i...


SeaBOS Launches Impact Report 2022-2023: Driving ocean stewardship in the seafood industry

October 17, 2023

The Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS) initiative announces the release of its first impact report demonstrating joint action for ocean stewardship and reaffirming ...


SeaBOS CEOs call on APEC to end IUU fishing in the Pacific

October 16, 2023

Busan 12 October 2023 SeaBOS represents nine of the largest seafood producers in the world. As the CEOs of those member companies, we have reaffirmed our pledge to work diligent...


SeaBOS featured in the Financial Times

July 6, 2023

Henrik Österblom, professor at Stockholm University and director of The Anthropocene Laboratory, and co-author of the publication Transnational Corporations as ‘Keystone A...


Seafood sector leaders urge government action to close the net on illegal fishing in the Pacific

May 15, 2023

Groups working with over 150 companies call for collective efforts in advance of the G7 Hiroshima Summit. 15 May 2023 – Each year, illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IU...


SeaBOS companies reaffirm their common purpose

April 18, 2023

SeaBOS companies have reaffirmed their commitment to work together towards ocean stewardship, and to demonstrate the positive and proactive role of seafood business leaders. All...


Thai Union CEO appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of SeaBOS

October 6, 2022

Thiraphong Chansiri succeeds Skretting CEO Therese Log Bergjord as Chair Thai Union Group PCL CEO Thiraphong Chansiri has been appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of the S...


SeaBOS launches first progress report – collaboration starting to generate results

June 29, 2022

On 29 June 2022, at the UN Ocean Conference in Portugal, SeaBOS launched its first progress report, following commitments made at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference Setting out to tac...


Report launch and where to find us during the 2022 UN Ocean Conference

June 25, 2022

All you need to know about the official launch and other SeaBOS engagements during the conference in Lisbon SeaBOS staff and colleagues from the member companies and science par...


SeaBOS members call for end to harmful subsidies

May 27, 2022

Initiative releases statement urging governments to “take all possible” steps to phase out subsidies that remain a barrier to sustainable industry transformation In a joint stat...


SeaBOS welcomes new approaches to deal with risk of labour abuse and illegal fishing

April 5, 2022

New study demonstrates extent of labour abuse and illegal fishing risks among fishing fleets. Of more than 750 ports assessed around the world, nearly half are associated&n...


Wenche Grønbrekk joins SeaBOS as Director of Strategy, Partnerships, and External Relations

January 17, 2022

After 7 years in Cermaq, Wenche Grønbrekk is now taking on a larger responsibility for ocean stewardship, joining SeaBOS as Director of Strategy, Partnerships, and External Rela...


Sustainable seafood and SeaBOS on the agenda at COP26

November 9, 2021

In a panel organised by UN Global Compact’s Ocean Stewardship Coalition, SeaBOS members Cermaq and Mowi highlighted the importance of sustainable seafood production and science-...


SeaBOS members ramp up efforts to transform the seafood sector

October 26, 2021

SeaBOS members agreed during its annual CEO meeting to continue activities designed to eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and forced labour throughout t...


Global seafood coalition applauds Japanese government on actions to eliminate IUU fishing; calls for further collaboration between industry and governments

April 14, 2021

Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS), the Global Tuna Alliance (GTA), and the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), a coalition consisting of more t...


“Nowhere to land, nowhere to sell” Seafood sector giants focus action on closing ports and supply chains to illegal fishing

February 16, 2021

Five of the most influential industry and multi-stakeholder platforms in the seafood sector have released a joint statement calling for action to combat the scourge of illegal, ...


CEOs of world’s leading seafood companies commit to time-bound goals for a healthy ocean

December 8, 2020

For the first time in the history of seafood production, ten of the largest seafood companies in the world have committed to a set of time-bound and measurable goals that will e...


SeaBOS calls on governments to support boat crews and ocean workers

September 23, 2020

SeaBOS, comprising CEOs from ten of the world’s largest seafood businesses, calls on governments to urgently address the critical humanitarian, safety and economic crisis in the...


SeaBOS to support the UN Global Compact’s work on ocean health

January 7, 2020

The Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS) will support the UN Global Compact Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business to accelerate progress on ocean health and ...


Fourth meeting between world’s largest seafood companies towards ocean stewardship

September 10, 2019

The Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship concluded their meeting last week in Phuket, Thailand. This was the fourth keystone dialogue since the start of SeaBOS in 2016 at the ...


Global initiative on ocean sustainability appoints Martin Exel as new managing director

July 1, 2019

Announcement part of next phase of the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS), a joint initiative between the world’s largest commercial seafood companies and science t...