Woocheen News: Sealaska Refines Ocean-Based Foods Portfolio to Focus on Consumer-Centric, Chilled Seafood
October 01, 2021
Investments bring access to Iceland’s quality and rigor
Oct. 1, 2021 (Juneau, AK)—Sealaska, an Alaska Native Corporation owned by 23,000 Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian shareholders, today announced it has plans to acquire equity in two leading Icelandic seafood companies as part of its work to foster ocean health by growing demand for delicious, sustainably sourced seafood.
Sealaska’s investment in Iceland’s IceMar and AG Seafood builds on its acquisition of New England Seafood (NESI) in October 2020, to further strengthen its focus on consumer-centric, premium, chilled fish and seafood. The move grows its capacity to provide globally integrated, world-class processing and food from the world’s best-managed fisheries. As part of its refinement, Sealaska also announced the sale of Orca Bay Foods. President Phil Crean is taking the business back under sole ownership for the next phase of its journey.
“We’re in seafood because it’s a powerful way to care for the oceans,” said Sealaska COO Terry Downes. “Ocean-based foods have a fraction of the carbon footprint of land-based proteins. And the rapid growth of the chilled category proves it is a key path to consumers’ tables.”
IceMar, established in 2003 by majority owner Gunnar Orlygsson, is a sales and marketing business that sells premium seafood from Iceland all over the world. AG Seafood was established in 2008 by Orlygsson and majority owner Arthur Galvez as a highly efficient processor of cod, haddock, and various species of flatfish. The two companies will continue to be run by Orlygsson and Galvez, respectively. Led by CEO Dan Aherne, NESI will play an active role in the development of the businesses.
“We’re thrilled to turn NESI’s nearly 20-year relationship with these two companies into a more formal partnership,” Aherne said. “Iceland has a rich heritage as a fishing and fish-processing nation with some of the best products anywhere. We are eager to help bring more of them to the rest of the world.”
Orlygsson said the partnership is an exciting opportunity for the Icelandic companies to strengthen their services and access new markets in Europe and North America
“We’re proud of our world-class fisheries and seafood processing capabilities,” he said. “Contributing to healthy oceans is vitally important to us, and our premium Icelandic offerings are certain to do that. It’s also wonderful to team up with our friends to combine our passion for seafood.”
Sealaska is an Alaska Native regional corporation for Southeast Alaska formed under federal law in 1971. With more than 23,000 shareholders of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian background, its purpose is to strengthen its people, culture, and homelands. Sealaska invests in and operates businesses that improve the health of our oceans, maintain healthy homelands in Southeast Alaska, and benefit shareholder communities. Learn more at Sealaska.com.
ABOUT ICEMAR AND AG SEAFOOD
Since spring 2003, IceMar has connected the wealth of Iceland’s sustainable marine resources to exciting markets all around the globe. The firm has grown from being a simple trading company to an international seafood supplier. AG Seafood is a highly efficient seafood processor with assets based in Iceland. Thanks to both companies’ knowledge and experience in the industry, they have been able to bring wild-caught and high-quality Icelandic seafood to people who have never tried it before. Learn more at Icemar.is and agseafood.is.