WINNER, Seafood Champion Awards for Leadership
Guy Dean graduated from University of British Columbia with a degree in Marine Zoology and has been involved in the seafood Industry for almost 30 years from Farmer, Harvester, Fisher, Processor and Distributor. He started his seafood career involved in helping operate an independent salmon farm and hatchery on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, has worked on fishing vessels in Canada and Australia, and has been a commercial diver and harvester in Japan. He worked for over 15 years in the Primary Processing side of the West Coast seafood industry – including stints in production, sales and management. He’s currently the Vice President and CSO of Albion Farms and Fisheries – the largest center of the plate distributor in Western Canada.
Passionate about supporting and promoting the consumption of sustainable seafood and particularly the long-term viability of the seafood industry, he sits on the board of a number of industry-led foundations within North America including Sea Pact, of which he is a co-founder. Guy also acts as a representative of the seafood industry sitting on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program’s “Multi-stakeholder Committee” – one of only 14 people internationally to be chosen for this prestigious role. Guy regularly travels globally where he is an acknowledged speaker and advisor and most recently has advised on SDG 14 at the United Nations as well as contributing to a working paper for the UN-FAO on “Implications of Climate Change for Aquaculture.”
Guy Dean is the Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer for Albion Farms and Fisheries. Guy leads a number of sustainability initiatives that are having a positive and lasting impact on the seafood industry. These efforts include being a founding member of Sea Pact, collaborations with Ocean Wise and SeaChoice, and piloting an innovative traceability program for wild-caught salmon. Also, under Guy’s leadership, Albion Fisheries and Farms will become the first company in Canada to participate in the Ocean Disclosure Project and publicly disclose 100 percent of their wild seafood sources as a way of demonstrating responsible sourcing.
How well does this nominee and his or her work demonstrate the qualities of the category?
Guy’s approach to sustainability is to lead with his own actions. Under Guy’s leadership, Albion has implemented a comprehensive sustainability commitment that supports efforts such as Seafood Watch, Marine Stewardship Council, and Aquaculture Stewardship Council. Guy was instrumental in establishing the Sea Pact organization — the pre-competitive industry collaboration that funds sustainability projects — and served as the organization’s chair in 2016. Recently, Guy pushed Albion to become the first company in Canada to participate in the Ocean Disclosure Project (ODP). While many seafood companies are hesitant to disclose sourcing data, Albion embraced transparency through participation in ODP. Guy explained to SFP that he saw benefit in the initiative and a better understanding of their wild sourcing could help Albion be more responsible while reducing sustainability risks. The culmination of these efforts makes Guy a strong candidate for the leadership award.
In what ways has this nominee positively affected, or mitigated negative impacts of, the seafood industry?
Under Guy’s direction, Albion will become the first company in Canada to publicly disclose all of its wild seafood sources (over 250 different species), via the Ocean Disclosure Project, pioneering the way for increased transparency of seafood sources. As a founding member of Sea Pact, Guy has remained heavily involved in the organization since it’s creation. He is a past chair and continues to take a hands-on approach, from reviewing project proposals to strategic planning. Finally, Albion is currently collaborating with Pelagic Data Systems and This Fish to pioneer a comprehensive real-time tracking and traceability system for its salmon fleet in B.C.
In what way do you feel this nominee’s story could inspire others and communicate successes achieved in sustainable seafood?
Guy took the issue of sustainable seafood sourcing to heart from the beginning, with a level of commitment that proves it’s more than just something his company needs to do — it’s clearly something he wants to do for the greater good of the industry and marine resources. Guy approaches sustainability with a willingness to collaborate with any stakeholder, whether it is a direct competitor or campaigning NGO. He often takes a pragmatic approach and recognizes that long-term benefits of sustainably efforts outweigh the short-term risks and challenges. Many seafood companies resist transparency initiatives, but Guy explained, “Participating in the Ocean Disclosure Project was definitely an eye opening experience as it pushed us to improve our data collection and sourcing information.”
How would the work serve as a replicable model for others who want to have a similar impact?
It’s the culmination of Guy’s sustainability efforts that make him a strong candidate for the Leadership Award. He leads by example on sustainability issues and is well respected by his peers in the seafood industry for his open and collaborative approach. If every seafood company were to employ a Guy Dean type, then the industry would make dramatic strides in addressing seafood sustainability.