Sealaska, NESI alliance creates global, sustainable seafood leader

NESI founder Fred Stroyan holds a 60-pound king salmon caught by commercial fisherman in Chignik Bay in 2004. "I kidded my friends back home I had caught it fly fishing!" he said.

Companies aim to enhance lives and promote ocean health 

October 30, 2020 (Juneau, AK)—Sealaska, an Alaska Native Corporation owned by 23,000 Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian shareholders and owner of several food companies, including Seattle-based Orca Bay Foods, and New England Seafood International Limited (NESI), a respected, London-based supplier of fresh and frozen premium sustainable fish and seafood to retailers and leading food-service brands, are forging an unprecedented alliance.

Sealaska has acquired NESI in a deal that secures management continuity, with founder Fred Stroyan retaining a stake. 

This partnership of two market leaders from different corners of the world creates an international business that builds on shared, long-standing commitments to fostering a thriving planet. The combined operations will focus on efficiently converting seafood from healthy fisheries around the globe to deliver innovative, tasty, nutritious products that help inspire consumers to eat more delicious, healthy fish.

The alliance provides a unique platform from which to influence change and impact the factors that matter most to the long-term health of the industry and Earth’s oceans. 

“One of the biggest challenges facing humanity is how to feed, water, educate and house a growing population on a finite planet,” said Sealaska COO Terry Downes. “Enormous social, environmental and economic value is possible when strong, like-minded organizations join forces across the world to make a bigger difference. Solving our most pressing problems requires working together with a global mindset.”

NESI CEO Dan Aherne said NESI’s values and deep connection to Alaska strongly align with Sealaska.

“Whilst Southeast Alaska and London could not be farther apart in geography and way of life, Sealaska and NESI are natural partners connected at the source, via product categories and by values and approach,” Aherne said. “Both businesses share a clear vision around inspiring consumers to enjoy more seafood. Both take a long-term, global view to enhancing lives and promoting a thriving planet.” 

Joining forces will offer both businesses increased access to resources, broader product and category capabilities and deeper market access. The enlarged seafood group and enhanced management capacity provides opportunity for further investments to build on successes. 

NESI founder Stroyan will stay on as a member of NESI’s Board of Directors. Key members of the company’s leadership team, including Aherne, will continue in their roles. NESI’s brand will remain independent and continue its three-decade journey.

“NESI grew from my passion for bringing the world’s best seafood to the UK,” Stroyan said. “This alliance solidifies my vision for a globally connected seafood enterprise that is committed to trusting relationships, quality products and ocean health. I’m proud of this legacy and thrilled about what we can accomplish together.”

Learn more about NESI and its remarkable alignment with Sealaska’s vision and values here.

ABOUT SEALASKA

Sealaska is an Alaska Native regional corporation for Southeast Alaska formed under federal law in 1971. With more than 23,000 shareholders of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian background, its purpose is to strengthen its people, culture and homelands. Sealaska invests in and operates businesses that improve the health of our oceans, maintain healthy homelands in Southeast Alaska, and benefit shareholder communities. Learn more at Sealaska.com.

ABOUT NEW ENGLAND SEAFOOD INTERNATIONAL LIMITED

New England Seafood is an importer, processor and  supplier of fresh and frozen premium sustainable fish and seafood to the UK and Northern European markets. It is the UK’s leading importer of sashimi grade tuna. The Marine Stewardship Council has twice awarded NESI  Retail Supplier of the Year in the UK, in 2018 and again in 2020. This prestigious award starts with retailer nominations for leaders in sustainability. NESI’s customers include the UK’s leading supermarkets  as well as smaller retail outlets and leading sushi and healthy eating chains via its Joii foodservice division. NESI sources more than 30 species of wild and farmed fish and seafood from 37 countries worldwide, and its expertise lies in a passion for responsible sourcing and turning raw material into a delicious, hand-crafted product that is from a trusted source. NESI’s consumer brands include Leap and Fish Said Fred. Learn more at Neseafood.com, LeapWildSalmon.co.uk; and  FishSaidFred.com

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