Millionaire rocker who played with Pearl Jam joins land based farmer’s board
Former American Seafoods CEO Bernt Bodal has been appointed to the board of Norwegian land-based salmon farming company Viking Aqua.
This move follows his investment in the company in March as part of a NOK 50 million ($5 million) share issue.
Bodal’s engagement with Viking Aqua began earlier this year when he expressed his interest in the project, citing its potential in the aquaculture sector.
“Viking Aqua is a very exciting project that I have followed with great curiosity,” said Bodal. “Establishing oneself internationally in the seafood industry is challenging, and it is a significant advantage to have networks and relationships in addition to the right expertise, especially in legislation.”
The company is currently planning a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) farm in western Norway, aiming to produce 20,000 metric tons of salmon by 2027, which includes a 5,000 metric ton smolt production facility.
“North America is known to be a challenging market for new international players to establish themselves in. Still, I believe that an actor like Viking Aqua, with its high ambitions, particularly in fish welfare and sustainability, can achieve this. Thus, I will contribute my experience and expertise when and if the project needs it,” he added.
Viking Aqua’s ultimate goal is to produce 33,000 metric tons of salmon at its site in Gulen, north of Bergen. Having completed the engineering phase for the first construction stage, the company is now focused on securing additional capital before construction commences in 2024.
In 2012, Bodal was featured on the reality T.V. series “Undercover Boss.” The show accompanied him while he spent time on a boat working as a fisherman.
A noted innovator, Mr. Bodal was responsible for taking the American Seafoods company through an era of colossal change, including developing fishing cooperatives in both the United States Pacific hake and Alaska pollock fisheries.