Cooke USA has appointed the Global Seafood Alliance's Steve Hedlund as its new director of public affairs.

Maine-based Hedlund will take up the new role on Jan. 2 2024 after his last day at the Global Seafood Alliance on Dec 29.

He replaces Andrew Lively, who left Cooke in July and is now CEO of Canada-based Ocean Perfect, a company specializing in the transportation of live seafood.

For more than 11 years Hedlund has worked as communications, media and events manager at the Global Seafood Alliance, planning the organizations Responsible Seafood Summit (formerly GOAL).

He acted as spokesperson for the Global Seafood Alliance and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), the world’s largest aquaculture certification program.

Prior to this, Hedlund gained more than a decade of media experience working in seafood publications.

In his new role he will work with Cooke employees, area residents and stakeholders on municipal, state and federal policy and opportunities to support Cooke’s growing workforce, local marine supply chain and to maximize social and economic benefits of the Maine salmon aquaculture industry, including with the Maine Aquaculture Association (MAA) trade group, the company said.

“He brings an impressive set of skills from decades of experience in the seafood industry, and he is passionate about environmentally sustainable seafood production, promoting the benefits of aquaculture in the local food system," Cooke Vice President of Public Relations Joel Richardson said.

As he steps into the role, Hedlund said he sees a tremendous opportunity for Maine to lead the way with sustainable seafood production, and salmon farming at the forefront.

"It's a once-in-a-career type opportunity and a great company to work for," he said.

The Global Seafood Alliance is yet to name Hedlund's successor.

In March, Brian Perkins, CEO of the Global Seafood Alliance, abruptly stepped down from his role.

Wally Stevens is acting as GSA interim CEO until a replacement is found. Stevens previously served as executive director and CEO.

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