Martin Fothergill, co-founder of private equity group 8F, the investors behind land-based salmon farming group Pure Salmon, has died, according to an announcement from the company. He was 52.

Pure Salmon has developed quickly since the first projects became public in 2018. The group has plans to build land-based salmon facilities along with its partners in China, Japan, France Africa and the United States.

Fothergill, who also served as director of Pure Salmon, died from "an aggressive illness," 8F announced.

"Martin has been instrumental in shaping the strategy and vision as well as in building the robust foundations for the long-term success of 8F and Pure Salmon," the company said.

"He left and indelible imprint on both companies and on all of us."

8F Asset Management -- headquartered and regulated in Singapore with group offices in London, New York and Tokyo -- was created as a vehicle for establishing a land-based salmon platform.

The company's operations, which operate under the Pure Salmon brand, are in various stages of development. Ultimately, the group is targeting over 250,000 metric tons of salmon production across its network of sites.

The company co-owns Pure Salmon Poland with land-based equipment supplier AquaMaof, which the two use as an R&D pilot facility.

In 2019, the company inked a supply contract with Japanese seafood giant Itochu for the domestic distribution of its land-based salmon operation Soul of Japan, which is under construction in Tsu, Mie Prefecture in central Japan. The facility is expected to be completed this year.

"I’m sure it goes without saying the very high standards that Japanese buyers have for fresh fish… so this speaks volumes about Pure Salmon," Fothergill told IntraFish at the time.

Most recently, the company selected a site in Boulogne-Sur-Mer, France for its second European land-based salmon operation.