Clean Seas gets new Chairman as tuna quota slashed

Posted by James Ferre on 27th October 2009

Clean Seas Tuna has announced the appointment of John Ellice-Flint to the role of non-executive Chairman of the Australian aquaculture pioneer. The news comes as Australia’s share of the worldwide quota of Southern Bluefin Tuna has been cut – a policy shift that is likely to benefit Clean Seas in the long-term.

Mr Ellice-Flint was until last year the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of oil and gas giant Santos Limited, playing a key role in the company’s strategic turnaround. He has also been Chairman of the South Australian Museum since 2002.

Mr Ellice-Flint will replace Clean Seas founder Hagen Stehr as Chairman from December 1, subject to shareholder approval for the company’s $42 million capital raising. Mr Stehr will remain on the Clean Seas board as a non-executive Director.

“I am delighted that we have managed to attract a person of the calibre of John Ellice-Flint as the Chairman of Clean Seas,” Mr Stehr said. “He has an extraordinary body of commercial experience behind him and a real passion for our business and enthusiasm for his new role.”

“The appointment of an independent, non-executive chairperson is a key plank in strengthening Clean Seas’ board and management team following a review of the company’s corporate governance structure as we move into commercialisation of our propagated Southern Bluefin Tuna.”

Mr Ellice-Flint said Clean Seas’ anticipated commercialisation of propagated Southern Bluefin Tuna this summer represents a potential solution to declining wild stocks and the next major development phase for the Australian SBT industry.

Quota slashed

Last week, the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna agreed to a net 20% cut in worldwide wild catch quota for SBT over 2010 and 2011. Australia’s share of the worldwide quota will be reduced from 5,265 tonnes to 4,015 tonnes (a decrease of 23.4%). Substantial quota cuts for Northern Bluefin Tuna in the Mediterranean are also being recommended by an increasing number of European Union countries, with some countries recommending total closure of the fishery to enable stocks to recover.

“Worldwide cuts to wild catch Bluefin Tuna quotas should have a positive impact on the emerging Bluefin Tuna aquaculture industry thematics ,” the incoming Chairman advised.

“Potentially, Clean Seas’ propagation program could eventually duplicate the entire Australian wild catch quota and, in the medium term, should commercialisation be successful, provide additional stock for others in the Australian industry to supplement their diminished quota.”