Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA) Executive Director Mark Lane has left to join a startup philanthropic organization in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Lane, who joined NAIA in 2014, left for the The Northpine Foundation in November to serve as its impact manager.

"I will remain in the aquaculture industry as a private consultant and maintain my involvement with a variety of initiatives such as the World Aquaculture Society conference and exhibition next summer in St. John's and International Salmon Farmers Association later this month," he told the industry in a farewell letter.

NAIA represents the province's seafood farmers to regulators, policy makers and political leaders.

"I love working in this sector. I love the people," Lane later added.

"Although challenging at times, like most things worth having in life, to be amongst people such as yourself, dedicated to advance the aquaculture industry as a sustainable source of healthy food for a growing population is something I always considered an honor and a privilege."

The Canadian government continues to eye aquaculture growth along the country's Atlantic coast.

In recent months, the government has been looking to the province's southern shores, where it sees an opportunity to establish a farm that could produce 15,000 to 20,000 metric tons of salmon annually.

Atlantic Canada has served as an area of growth for several major salmon farming companies. In early 2020, Grieg acquired the Newfoundland operation from the Grieg family as part of a long-term strategy that could add an additional 45,000 metric tons to the company's output.

In addition to Grieg's ambitions, rival Norwegian group Mowi established its presence in Eastern Canada with the acquisition of NL-based Northern Harvest in 2018.

Cooke Aquaculture, which has been based in Eastern Canada since its founding, continues to grow in the region.