About Us

Who we are

Who We Are

The Northwest Aquaculture Alliance (NWAA) represents the leading aquaculture producers and support-related businesses in the Pacific region–including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, British Columbia, and Alaska.
 
Alliance members share a vision of feeding the world with high-quality, sustainably and responsibly produced, nutritious fish, shellfish, and sea vegetables–farmed in marine waters, freshwater, or in land-based operations that our members offer to local, regional, and global markets.

Why Aquaculture?

The world needs more protein. And, as we all learned from the pandemic, and realize during times of global unrest, the United States cannot rely solely on imports to meet consumer demand for seafood. It’s time to grow it here. We can. We must.

Currently, the USA ranks 16th in the world in aquaculture production. The Pacific region, with its abundant supply of natural resources, know-how, and hard-working people, can—and should—produce enough farmed seafood to help the U.S. compete with imports from other aquaculture-producing countries.
 
Aquaculture currently provides more than half of the seafood consumed worldwide—and that percentage is increasing as global demand for seafood continues to rise and wild fisheries are fully exploited. 

Our Board of Directors

Jim Parsons

Jim Parsons – NWAA President
CEO, Jamestown Seafood
Port Angeles, Washington

James E. (Jim) Parsons assumed the role of CEO of Jamestown Seafood in late August 2021.  Jamestown Seafood raises and harvests seafood from the cold clean waters along the Strait of Juan de Fuca at the entrance of Puget Sound. 

The company operates from tribal lands within Sequim Bay, offering several varieties of oysters, geoduck clams, and oyster seed.

 

Carrington Gorman – NWAA Secretary

Headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota, Cargill is a global provider of products and services that help farmers boost crop productivity, manage risks, and support health and nutrition. The company today employs 155,000 people worldwide.  After the acquisition of EWOS, Cargill today is one of the largest global suppliers of aqua feed through its Cargill Aqua Nutrition division. The company employs approximately 65 people in Washington (including Ferndale and Granger) and operates a feed mill in Surrey, BC.

 

Jeanne McKnight, Ph.D. – NWAA Executive Director

Jeanne McKnight has worked all aspects of  the global  aquaculture industry for more than 25 years–where she has earned a reputation as a strong advocate for the commercial wild harvest sector as well as the responsible fish farming sector worldwide.  She is a frequent contributor to trade magazines and has spoken extensively on the benefits of aquaculture at various conferences.

Kevin Bright
Permit Coordinator
Cooke Aquaculture Pacific

Kevin Bright is a 30-year veteran of the aquaculture industry, having worked in various technical and leadership roles—including water quality analysis, plankton monitoring, regulatory compliance, and diving—since 1990. A graduate of Western Washington University with an emphasis on Marine Studies, Kevin previously worked for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as well as a research vessel for the University of Alaska.

Jeff Hetrick
Director, Alutiiq
Pride Marine Institute
Seward, Alaska

Jeff Hetrick is a 40-year veteran of the Alaska aquaculture industry. Prior to taking over the role of Director of the Alutiiq Pride Marine Institute (APMI) in Seward, Alaska, in 2002, Jeff spent 20 years in salmon enhancement, working for private non-profits as well as the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. 

APMI produces oysters and geoducks for the aquatic farm industry, and also produces several varieties of clams for beaches in South Central Alaska—including littleneck, butter, and razor clams. Through APMI, Jeff is heavily involved in the study of ocean acidification and its impacts on shellfish. 

A founding member of the Alaska Shellfish Growers Association, Jeff also operated an oyster farm in Prince William Sound prior to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.

Kyle Martin
Senior Geneticist Hendrix Genetics (Troutlodge Inc. and Kona Bay)

With over 3,500 employees in 25 countries, Hendrix Genetics is a leader in multi-species animal breeding, genetics, and technology for terrestrial animal production as well as aquaculture. Its aquaculture portfolio includes Troutlodge, Inc. in Bonney Lake, Washington, and Kona Bay (Shrimp) in Waimea- Kauai, Hawaii.

Prior to serving as Senior Geneticist for Troutlodge and Kona Bay, Kyle Martin was a Research Geneticist, joining Troutlodge in 2008, after receiving his Master of Science degree in Zoology from Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman, Washington. He also holds Bachelor of Science degrees from WSU in Molecular Genetics and Biology.

Troutlodge is the world’s largest supplier of high-quality eyed rainbow trout eggs, while Kona Bay leads the way supplying genetically improved Whiteleg shrimp to the industry.

Sean Nepper

Sean Nepper
Chief Brood Officer, VP Fish Health
Riverence
Rochester, Washington

Riverence is a land-based farm that raises steelhead trout eggs in Washington in a state-of-the-art RAS facility that maximizes natural water resources and capacity that takes advantage of both the latest technology and the expertise of the Riverence team. Riverence transports its eggs to grow-out farms that are located along the Snake River in Idaho’s Magic Valley.

 

Svein Wiese-Hansen
Division Operations Manager Aquaculture   Pacific Seafood
Clackamas, Oregon

Svein Wiese-Hansen currently holds the position of Division Operations Manager, Aquaculture, for Clackamas, Oregon-based Pacific Seafood Group, a company he has worked with since 2008.
In addition to serving for three consecutive terms on the Board of Directors for the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association (PCSGA), Wiese-Hansen has participated in the highly competitive Future Leaders Program of the National Fisheries Institute (NFI), a program that helps prepare young seafood industry professionals to become leaders in their organizations.

In addition to his experience in shellfish aquaculture, Wiese-Hansen “learned the ropes” of finfish aquaculture, working since age 18 for Scan Am Fish Farms, a family-owned and operated salmon farming company in Anacortes, Washington, and later worked for the farm’s subsequent owners, Pan Fish and American Gold. While he started out in a labor-focused position, within 10 years, Wiese-Hansen rose through the ranks to become an assistant manager—handling everything along the way from mechanical repairs to commercial scuba diving, operating vessels (30-100 foot), feeding fish, fish husbandry, and performing various administrative duties. 

Keith Drynan – NWAA Vice President
 

A native of Scotland, Keith Drynan was educated at the University of Glasgow, where he earned a BSc in Aquatic Bioscience, followed by an MSc Degree in Resource Development and Production from Edinburgh-based Heriot Watt University. 

Prior to joining Troutlodge in 2017, Dryan worked for several leading trout companies in Scotland. 

Troutlodge, a trout production company owned by Hendrix Genetics, is the world’s leading supplier of eyed rainbow trout eggs. Each year, Troutlodge produces, sells, and ships some 500 million trout eggs to more than 60 countries from its production facilities in Washington state, Idaho, and the Isle of Man.

Troutlodge employs cutting-edge genetic and genomic technologies in its breeding programs. Broodstock are independently tested and the company’s trout eggs are internationally certified as free of specific pathogens. 

 

Dick Jones – NWAA Treasurer
CEO, Blue Ocean Mariculture
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Dick Jones is the CEO of Blue Ocean Mariculture, currently the only open-ocean finfish aquaculture company in the United States.

His passion for the ocean started very early in life, leading him to his first full-time job working at his family’s seafood processing business on the Boston Fish Pier in 1986. His diverse career includes 14 years overseeing seafood operations at Whole Foods Market and HEB Grocery.

Over the past 12 years, he has been a leader in the non-profit sector–working with industry, governments, and development agencies to implement improved practices at fisheries and aquaculture operations globally.

Jones is a co-founder of Sea Pact, a group of leading North American seafood companies dedicated to driving stewardship and continuous improvement of social, economic, and environmental responsibility throughout the global seafood supply chain. He is also a founding trustee of ThinkAqua, a non-profit whose mission is to improve the performance of small-scale aquaculture in Africa and ASEAN nations.

He has served as a Director or Advisor to several organizations, including the California Salmon Council, the Aquaculture Certification Council, the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions, World Resources Institute, Fair Trade USA, and Ocean Outcomes.

Langley Gace
Senior Vice President                           Innovasea Systems Inc.                      Bainbridge Island, Washington

Langley Gace is Senior Vice President of Innovasea Systems, a company committed to developing the next wave of innovative, open-ocean products to support the growing marine aquaculture industry. 

Gace formerly the president of Washington-based OceanSpar, LLC, a pioneer in the development of submersible net pens for open ocean aquaculture. In 2015, OceanSpar merged with Open Farm Technologies to form Innovasea Systems, a new company committed to developing the next wave of innovative, open-ocean products to support the growing marine aquaculture industry.

Ron Malnor

Ron Malnor
Sales Manager, Bio-Oregon / Skretting
Longview, Washington

Skretting got its start in Stavanger, Norway in 1899, selling feed and equipment to agriculture producers. Today, the company is an international leader in the manufacture and supply of aquaculture feeds, operating globally, with 3,500 employees in various countries. Its North American production facilities are located in Toole, Utah; Vancouver, BC; and St. Andrews, NB, Canada.

A leading supplier of fish feeds to the Washington state aquaculture industry, Skretting also supplies fish feeds to Washington State’s salmonid hatchery programs with the Department of Fish and Wildlife via its subsidiary, Bio-Oregon. Bio-Oregon operates fish feed distribution centers in Washington State and Westbrook, Maine.

Hugh Mitchell, DVM
Founder/Owner, AquaTactics Fish Health Services
Kirkland, Washington

AquaTactics is a-globally respected Washington-owned fish veterinary services company that provides fish health consultation and fish health tools such as custom prescription vaccines and medications for public, tribal and private fish culture facilities. AquaTactics also provides pharmaceutical and biologics product and facility registration and licensing consultation and participates in cooperative fish health research projects.

Walter T. Pereyra, Ph.D.
 

Dr. Walter T. (Wally) Pereyra, a 50-year veteran of the seafood industry, serves on the Board of Directors of the Northwest Aquaculture Alliance as well as on the board of several international conservation groups.

Recognized as a pioneer of the Alaska groundfish sector, Dr. Pereyra has served as a Vice-Chairman of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, as Chairman of the National Fisheries Institute, has served on the federal Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee to the US Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior. Dr. Pereyra earned his BA degree in Zoology from the University of Maine, followed by both MS and Ph.D. degrees in Fisheries from the College of Fisheries at the University of Washington.

STAFF

Jeanne McKnight, Ph.D. – Executive Director
Mark Streuli – Lobbyist

SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD

Linda A. Chaves – Chair
Walt Dickhoff, Ph.D.
John Forster, Ph.D.
Ron Hardy, Ph.D.
Robert Iwamoto, Ph.D.
Cathy Roheim, Ph.D.

MEMBERS