The initiative was established in 2015 and aims to shape a long-term ambition to realise the full potential of industry by 2040. The programme is facilitated by Seafish, funded by the European Maritime Fisheries Fund and supported by Defra and England’s seafood industry.
Dr Auchterlonie will take over the role on May 1, following the departure of the inaugural programme chair Alison Austin. He has PhD in aquaculture from Stirling University and brings technical expertise in fisheries, aquaculture and sustainable seafood, having worked previously as an advisor to industry, governments and NGOs.
He most recently worked as technical director for IFFO – the trade body representing fishmeal and fish oil producers worldwide. As well as roles with Defra, Cefas and the Environment Agency, his background also includes several production and technical roles in aquaculture, and work as a consultant.
Marcus Coleman, CEO of Seafish, said: “COVID-19 has created an unprecedented set of challenges and Seafood 2040 will have an important role to play in helping the seafood industry in England to find its feet again. In light of this we are pleased to announce that Neil Auchterlonie has been appointed as the new chair for the Seafood 2040 programme.
“Neil brings a wealth of experience and knowledge which will be extremely valuable in shaping the support that Seafood 2040 can deliver for the industry. He has also previously served on the Seafood 2040 Government appointed Industry Expert Working Group alongside former chair Alison Austin. This puts him on an excellent footing to bring some continuity at this difficult time and carry on the excellent work she started.”
Auchterlonie added: “I’m pleased to be taking on the role of chair for Seafood 2040 and I’m looking forward to leading the programme to develop the seafood industry in England, hopefully maintaining the momentum that has been built up by Alison, the SILG, and the ALG. Seafood 2040 will be a vehicle to support the seafood industry’s sustainability in the long term, and, not least, assist in the recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking at how we address these challenges will be my priority.”