Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) CEO Andrew Mallison is stepping down from the certification group, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Mallison was named to the post in late 2018, and took over from director Wally Stevens the following year, after serving as director general for IFFO, the Marine Ingredients Organisation, for seven years.

Prior to that, he worked with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and UK retailer Marks & Spencer.

GAA, which was founded in 1997, has been on a steady growth path, and has morphed from a loose association of aquaculture producers into a trade and advocacy group, a multimedia information and content provider, and a certification scheme, Best Aquaculture (BAP) Practices.

The number of BAP-certified farms, feed mills and facilities has grown annually since 2011.

In September, marking a year in his post, Mallison told IntraFish that the group's rapid expansion meant it was in need of more structure and organization.

“I thought I knew a bit about GAA before I joined it, but I knew about half of what goes on under the hood. There’s an incredible amount of projects going on, and that’s been a function of rapid growth,” he said.

“There’s a lot being started, and the organization has been growing incredibly quickly in the last five years. What I wanted to do was to give it some framework – that wasn’t needed when it was just five people, but now we’re 75 people.”

Mallison declined to comment to IntraFish on his departure. Officials with GAA could not be reached for comment prior to publication.