Nova Austral fires CEO

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Nicos Nicolaides will no longer have a role in the Norwegian-owned salmon farmer.

The day after Nova Austral – embroiled in the “Salmon Leaks” scandal in Chile – admitted that it has identified occasions of misreported mortalities to Sernapesca over the last production cycle – it has fired its CEO Nicos Nicolaides.

No longer working for the company. ScreenShot: Nova Austral

In a statement on Wednesday, the company wrote: “As such, effective today, the Board has decided to make changes to the leadership team. Nicos Nicolaides will no longer have a role in the company.”

A seasoned salmon farming veteran, Nicolaides was the former COO of AquaChile, Salmones Blumar and Pesquera El Golfo.

Nicolaides’ information blurb and photo – as well as those of the entire core team – have been taken down from the site, including that of Regional Director Drago Covacich and Arturo Scholfield – whose emails were among those under the spotlight during El Mostrador’s investigation.

Francisco Miranda, the recently-joined Chief Operations Officer, will lead all sales and operations. Nicolas Larco, formerly the Chief Financial Officer of Cencosud Chile, will join the company as Chief Financial Officer.

Furthermore, on Wednesday, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) decided to suspend Nova Austral’s license to use its logo, which in practice operates in the world of salmon farming as a guarantee of sustainability.

“Nova Austral’s independent internal investigation found certain irregularities in the information it provided to Sernapesca during the last production cycle. The company has rectified those errors, is collaborating with the authorities, and is working towards a prompt and appropriate resolution to this matter. Nova Austral will also ensure total compliance with all applicable regulations.

“Nova Austral does not compromise its standards of production, antibiotic free product integrity, sustainability, and environmental commitment for which it has been recognized internationally,” the salmon farmer wrote.