The ASC is an international impact organisation committed to transparency, independence, and stakeholder participation. We listen to our stakeholders and include them in our governance structure. Representatives from the private and public sector—including academia, NGO’s, and the industry — serve on the ASC Board of Trustees. The Technical Advisory Group support the Board of Trustees providing technical expertise from a range of aquaculture systems as well as knowledge of managing issues ASC Standards seeks to minimise. The TAG is further supported by Technical Working Groups (TWG) and Ad-hoc Advisory Groups (AAG), that provide the TAG with recommendations on specific technical developments.
Board of trustees
The ASC’s Board of Trustees currently consists of eight members, who are responsible for setting the strategic direction of the ASC, monitoring its progress and ensuring that the ASC meets its objectives. The Trustees are unpaid volunteers and are responsible for ensuring that ASC abides by its charitable aims, works within the law, and delivers its mission effectively.
The standard term of appointment as a member of the Board is three years, and no Board member may serve on the Board for more than two terms. The Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees are elected for a term of two years, and may serve up to two terms.
Margret Thalwitz (Chair)
Margret Thalwitz was appointed to chair the ASC Board of Trustees on March 10, 2022. Margret is a development economist who spent most of her career at the World Bank working across various sectors and in senior corporate positions. During the past 10 years she assumed different responsibilities mixing consulting assignments, academic fellowships, and Board functions of international agricultural research institutions.
Merrielle Macleod was appointed to the Board in January 2020 and appointed as Vice Chair in March 2021. She also acts as Board representative to the Technical Advisory Group (TAG). Merrielle is a Director on the WWF-US Aquaculture team. Merrielle leads WWF-US initiatives for farmed salmon and is leading the supply chain implementation for farmed salmon in Chile. Merrielle provides the technical expertise to develop aquaculture improvement projects to reach certification goals.
Bushra Malik was appointed to the Board in March 2022 and nominated as Chair of the ASC’s Audit and Risk Committee in June 2022. Bushra Naz Malik is a chartered accountant by profession and has an MBA degree from joint programme between the Kellogg School of Business, Chicago, USA and the Schulich Business School from Toronto, Canada. Her professional experience includes over ten years of consultancy services to public and private sector organizations in Pakistan and abroad, and over 20 years in the areas of business development and finance in the private sector. Her extensive work in the field of audit includes chairing the committees and boards of various national and international organisations.
Kristin was appointed to the Board of Trustees in May 2022 and nominated to chair the ASC’s Strategy and Policy Committee in September 2022. Kristin has significant FMCG commercial leadership experience across segments and regions with the last 10 years in seafood & aquaculture in senior management roles at industry leaders such as Nomad Foods, Regal Springs, Grobest. He is currently leading the Global Shrimp value chain at eFishery. Kristin graduated from the University of Western Sydney and holds a Bachelor of Commerce – Marketing.
Richard Holland was appointed to the Supervisory Board in June 2021. Richard has about 20 years of experience of engaging with voluntary standards including FSC, UTZ/Rainforest Alliance and the Better Cotton Initiative. He was involved in establishing WWF’s market transformation initiative and led this work until 2016. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Member of the Chartered Institute for Water and Environmental Management in the UK. Richard is currently Director of DOB Ecology, a foundation initiated by a Dutch entrepreneurial family whose philanthropy supports local partners and communities that work to protect and restore threatened ecosystems with a focus on wetlands and forests.
Jose Villalon is Corporate Sustainability Director at Nutreco and based in The Netherlands. Born in Cuba and raised in the USA, Jose received his Master of Science; then went on to 27-years farming shrimp in the Virgin Islands, Ecuador and Mexico. In 1991, he authored a practical manual for shrimp farming. He then joined the World Wildlife Fund-US and led its’ global Aquaculture Program. Along with WWF and IDH, he helped co-found the Aquaculture Stewardship Council where he was the Chairman of the Board for its’ initial four years. He remains on the Board today. In 2022, his first children’s book was published in London, entitled, “When Gabi and Santi go for Sustainable Seafood” which raises awareness on sustainability for the 9–12-year-old’s and their adults.
Rohana Subasinghe, appointed to the Board of Trustees in March 2022, is a specialist in aquaculture development and aquatic animal health management. After 22 years of service, he retired from FAO in October 2015. He was responsible in implementing many FAO programmes and projects on aquaculture and aquatic animal health at national, regional, and international levels, worldwide. From 2000 to 2015 he served as the Technical Secretary to the Sub-Committee on Aquaculture of the FAO Committee on Fisheries. He was instrumental in developing the FAO’s Technical Guidelines on Aquaculture Certification adopted in 2011. Rohana, a Co-Founder and Director of FUTUREFISH, is an honorary life member of the Asian Fisheries Society and the World Aquaculture Society (WAS). Rohana is a strong advocate of inclusive growth of aquaculture.
Sophie was appointed to the Board of Trustees in March 2022. Sophie is CEO of the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) – a leadership group representing over 40% of the global farmed salmon industry committed to continuous improvements in their sustainability performance. Her work focuses on motivating environmental improvements, developing effective communication strategies to improve industry transparency, and building multi-stakeholder relationships to help achieve the group’s sustainability goals. Sophie is also a member of the Champions Network for the United Nations (UN) Food Systems Summit and is a Steering Committee member of the Sustainable Aquaculture 2030 Working Group of the Blue Foods Partnership.
Dane Klinger was appointed to TAG in 2019 before joining the Board of Trustees in September 2023. Dane has worked with businesses, governments, foundations, NGOs, and universities in the United States and abroad to develop solutions to challenges in aquaculture and the global seafood trade. He holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and was a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University. He is currently Director of Aquaculture at Conservation International, where he leads their global work on aquaculture governance and management, finance, and innovation.
Former Board members:
Scott Nichols, Ha Do Thuy, Katrina Nakamura, Oyvind Oaland, Alastair Dingwall, Meghan Jeans, Caroline Tippett, Ling Cao, Petter Arnessen, Peter Cook, Aldin Hilbrands, Peter Hajiepieris, Jose Thomas, Hank Cauley, Ted van der Put, Dr. Nguyen Huu Dzung, Knut Nesse, Joost Oorthuizen, Carel Drijver, Elton Mudyazvivi
Audit and Risk Committee
- Members: Bushra Malik (Chair), Sophie Ryan, Jose Villalon
Strategy and Policy Committee
- Members: Kristin Veriga (Chair), Merrielle Macleod, Jose Villalon
- Members: Richard Holland (Chair), Merrielle Macleod, Rohana Subasinghe
Technical Advisory Group (TAG)
The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) provides technical recommendations and advice to the ASC Board of Trustees. The group focuses on technical matters related to the ASC programme including farm and feed standards, chain of custody and certification and accreditation requirements. Members are selected for their technical expertise and with representatives from the aquaculture industry, NGOs, academia, and the assurance sector. The oversight and responsibility of Ad-hoc Advisory Groups and Technical Working Groups are part of TAG’s formal function and take place in close coordination with the Executive.
Petter Arnesen (Chair)
Dr Petter Arnesen was on the steering committee of the “Salmon dialogue” from 2006 that resulted in the first version of the ASC Salmon Standard in 2012. Since then, he has served on the TAG and has been TAG chair since 2019. He has also been TAG representative on the ASC Board of Trustees. Petter has worked for over 30 years in the aquaculture industry (mainly salmon) and has held executive positions in multinational aquaculture companies in Norway and Chile. He currently works as an independent consultant.
Dr Kevan Main
Dr Kevan Main was appointed to the TAG on 2019 and she has served as Vice Chair for the TAG since November 2019. Kevan has over 35 years’ experience in aquaculture research, focusing on the development of biotechnological tools and system technologies to sustainably farm marine fishes and invertebrate species. As Director of Aquaculture Research at Mote Marine Laboratory, her recent research has focused on expanding opportunities for producing fish and sea vegetables in land-based marine aquaponic systems and in developing cell-based seafood. Kevan has served on numerous panels to identify priorities and challenges associated with developing aquaculture and she was President of the World Aquaculture Society in 2012-2013.
Claudia Venegas was appointed to the TAG in 2019, and acts as TAG Sponsor for the Antibiotics and Fish Welfare topic Technical Working Groups (TWG). Claudia is a veterinarian by education graduated from Universidad de Chile and holds a PhD in Fish diseases/pathology from Hiroshima University, Japan. After 25 years’ experience in the aquatic animal health field, she has transitioned from academia to the farming sector and private research organisations focused on solutions mainly for the salmon farming industry. Claudia has served in Chile as Chair of the National Scientific and Technical Committees for Aquaculture in Sanitary and Environmental issues. She is currently the Director-at-large for the Americas at the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association WAVMA, where she leads the Web Continuous Education and Development Program. Claudia has been the Scientific coordinator of VESO Aqualab Contract Research Organization Chile Branch since 2017.
Dr Crawford Revie
Dr Crawford Revie was appointed to TAG in 2019. Crawford has over 30 years’ experience in the application of informatics techniques – such as machine learning, data-driven modelling and semantic technologies – to better understand and manage disease. A particular focus of his work, stretching back over 15 years, has involved host-parasite modelling in aquatic ecosystems, including over 75 peer-reviewed papers relating to sea lice dynamics on Atlantic salmon farms. Crawford currently holds a Chair in Data Analytics at the University of Strathclyde in the UK, prior to which he spent ten years at the Atlantic Veterinary College as a Canada Research Chair.
Neil Anthony Sims has been a TAG member since its inception. Neil has worked in tropical aquaculture development for over 40 years, both in government and the private sector. He has worked with macroalgae, bivalve culture and offshore marine fish farming. He has led commercial bivalve farming companies in Hawaii, Australia and the Pacific Islands, and co-founded offshore fish farm operations in Kona and Mexico. He is currently CEO of Ocean Era, an aquaculture R&D company based in Kona, Hawaii, that is pursuing commercial farm permits in Hawaii and Florida. He also sits on the Board of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority.
Paul Macintyre (non-voting CAB member)
Paul Macintyre was appointed to the TAG in 2019. Paul started working in the Aquaculture sector in 1975, going on to manage salmon farms, processing plants and logistics for a large multi-national before transferring in 1989 to aquaculture audit and certification work. Paul is currently the Aquaculture Director at LRQA. Over the last 40 years Paul has carried out audits at aquaculture farms, feed mill and fish processing operations in Europe and around the world. Although his primary interest is salmonids, the audit role allows him privileged access to a diverse range of production systems within the finfish, crustacean and shellfish sectors. He also manages the training and calibration of LRQA aquaculture auditors and provides advice to food chain companies on their sourcing policies for aquaculture and fishery products.
Professor Peter Cook was appointed to TAG in 2019. He is part of the Zoology Department at the University of Cape Town, in South Africa, as a Lecturer in animal physiology. His main research interests have involved various aspects of the biology of mariculture species including mussels, oysters, and abalone. He, and his research team, have published widely on many aspects of abalone biology and aquaculture. He is recognised as an international leader in abalone research and aquaculture, and has served as President of the International Abalone Society where, in 2015, he was awarded a Life Membership of the Society. Peter has also had a long and active association with the Aquaculture Stewardship Council and previously served as Chairman of the Board of Directors. He is currently an adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia.
Dr Peter Tyedmers
Dr Peter Tyedmers was appointed to the TAG in 2019. For 25 years, Peter has been leading research to understand and improve the biophysical sustainability of seafood systems. This work, undertaken with colleagues and students, has focused on how material and energy inputs to seafood systems contribute to climate change and other global-scale environmental challenges. Peter is a professor in the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Weiwei You was appointed to TAG in 2019. He is currently the professor of marine biotechnology in Xiamen University. Weiwei has around 20 years’ experience of aquaculture technology and innovation, focusing on genetic breeding, sustainable aquaculture and climate change impact on the shellfish. He has published more than 90 peer reviewed related papers and is currently the secretary for International Abalone Society.
Rochelle Zaid was appointed to TAG in 2019. She has been working with Social Accountability International for over two decades. Rochelle currently serves as Senior Director for Standards and Impacts. She is responsible for the management of the SA8000® Standard for decent work, overseeing its applications and impacts. Rochelle has previously served as Executive Director for Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS), which evaluates, accredits and monitors organisations that demonstrate competency to audit and certify organisations that conform to social standards.
Technical Working Group (TWG) and Ad-hoc Advisory Group (AAG)
Technical Working Groups (TWG) and Ad-hoc Advisory Groups (AAG) are formed as deemed necessary by the TAG to ensure the ASC has formal guidance from technical experts from across ASC’s stakeholders. for They provide detailed inputs on technical or scientific issues. A TWG is comprised of technical experts external to ASC’s governance bodies with a member of the TAG acting as sponsor and often as Chair of the group. ASC secretariat
Currently, the ASC has several active TWGs working to develop requirements for the ASC Farm Standard and the corresponding CAR and RUoC. Current list of TWGs available below: