Scottish Sea Farms MD steps down from SAIC board

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Scottish Sea Farms Managing Director Jim Gallagher has today stepped down from the board of the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) to give his undivided focus to the opportunities immediately ahead of the company.

The move comes just weeks before the 15 December deadline given by the Competition and Markets Authority for announcing its phase one decision on Scottish Sea Farms’ acquisition of Grieg Seafood Hjaltland UK.

Separate to this, the company is also planning more than £40 million in key strategic investments in 2022, part of its ongoing drive to maximise farmed fish health and minimise any impact on the environment.

Gallagher’s involvement in SAIC dates back almost 10 years, when he was part of a multi-stakeholder advisory group tasked with scoping out the benefits of introducing an Innovation Centre dedicated to Scottish aquaculture.

When the Scottish Government later announced, in 2014, £11 million of public funding to bring such a centre into being, Gallagher was appointed as one the founding members of the SAIC board, going on to serve two terms.

Speaking of his decision to step down, Gallagher said: “It has been a tremendous honour to be a part of the SAIC board for so many years. I have believed strongly in the concept since day one – and I haven’t been disappointed.

“Scottish aquaculture is without doubt better connected, more collaborative and operating increasingly sustainably thanks to the ongoing work of SAIC and its Independent Scientific Panel to bring together the country’s producers and academics to address some of the sector’s most pressing challenges and opportunities.

“However, the opportunities immediately ahead of Scottish Sea Farms have the potential to be equally transformative in terms of the company’s own growth and development, and I am keen to give those my undivided focus and attention.”

Commenting on Gallagher’s stepping down from the board, SAIC Chairperson David Gregory said: “Jim has been a member of the SAIC board from its formative stages and a continuous advocate for SAIC’s work. He has been ambitious on the Innovation Centre’s behalf and we are very grateful for his tremendous hard work over the last decade. He has played a key role in helping us to achieve our mission of increasing the economic impact and reducing the environmental footprint of the sector.”