Chair of the Sea Fish Industry Authority

Body: Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish)
Appointing Department: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Sector: Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Location: Seafish is based in two locations, Edinburgh and Grimsby. Board meetings may be held at either of these offices or at other locations in the UK
Skills required: Business / Commercial, Change Management, Communication / Media / Marketing, International Experience, Retail
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £18,000 per annum. Legitimate travel and other expenses will be fully reimbursed in line with the Seafish Industry Authority’s travel and subsistence policy
Time Requirements: The board will meet at least 4 times a year. The time commitment is 30 days per annum for the Chair.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

New appointments to the Seafish board

A new chair, deputy chair and five members have been appointed to the board of the Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish).

Seafish is a non-departmental public body which carries out a wide range of activities to support a thriving seafood industry, working with the fishing industry and processors through to importers, retailers and food service providers.

Michael Sheldon, appointed as Seafish Chair, brings more than twenty years’ experience of the agri-food industry. Formerly Deputy Chair of Seafish, he is also board member on the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

The newly appointed Deputy Chair of Seafish is Jeff Halliwell. He brings his experience of customer engagement groups, consumer watchdog and an extensive knowledge of the food and drinks sector.

The further five appointments as board members include Graham Black, who brings significant experience of working within government, including in his former role of Director for Marine Scotland.

Formerly board member of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), David Brooks has a firm understanding of the food and drink, healthcare, housing and technology sectors.

Heather Jones, who has thirty years’ experience in marine, fisheries and aquaculture science. Founder of the UK’s first industry-led aquaculture innovation body, Heather was formerly Deputy Director of Marine Scotland.

Nigel Edwards brings extensive experience of the seafood industry as a Director of Hilton Food Group plc who supply a wide range of proteins to partner retailers globally and is a member of the Strategic Industry Leaders Group for Defra’s Seafood 2040 strategy.

Lastly, Harry Wick, who brings a wide knowledge of the fishing industry in Northern Ireland and a strong interest in the sustainability, safety and economic prospects of the UK catching sector.

These are ministerial appointments agreed by the four fisheries administrations, who jointly sponsor Seafish.

The recruitment was carried out in accordance with the Ministerial Code of Practice for Appointments to Public Bodies. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, there is a requirement for the political activities of appointees to be made public. None of the appointees have declared any significant activity.

Date: 10/05/2021

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    06/11/2020 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift

    Week commencing 30 November 2020

  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    10/05/2021 at 14:00


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

Thank you for your interest in becoming Chair of the Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish).

As we approach life outside of the EU, Seafish will play a pivotal role in navigating the UK seafood industry through this once-in-a-life-time opportunity.

As a non-departmental public body Seafish supports our ambitious vision for sustainably managed seas while securing a profitable future for all sectors of the seafood industry. The effective care and management of waters in our exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and the precious resources within it, is critical to ensuring our fishing and seafood industry grows sustainably to meet the demands of consumers.

Given this period of great change, the successful candidate will provide vision and strong strategic leadership to Seafish, working collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders and partners.

In addition to appointing a new Chair we are looking to appoint five non-executive members; three industry positions representing the processing sector, large catch sector and marine/fisheries science and two positions independent of the seafood sector. We are seeking applications from all parts of the UK to represent their respective nations to bring a wealth of experience and knowledge, help steer the strategic direction of the organisation and balance the priorities of the seafood industry.

This is a fantastic opportunity to help shape the future of our seafood industry. If you think that you have the ability to take on this rewarding role then I strongly encourage you to apply.


The UK fisheries administrations are appointing a new Chair of the Board for the Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) to provide strategic direction and leadership to the organisation which balances the priorities of the seafood industry.

The non-executive Chair of Seafish will be responsible for:

• providing effective leadership and strategic direction to develop a cohesive and focused Board which recognises the need to work collaboratively with levy payers, industry, Government, delivery bodies and stakeholders to deliver Seafish’s objectives effectively and efficiently;

• leading the formulation of the Board’s strategy, ensuring Seafish discharges its statutory duties;

• leading the Board in overseeing the timely production of realistic and costed business and forward corporate plans,
monitoring in-year performance and examining change proposals with rigour to maintain focus on delivery;

• leading the Board in scrutinising and holding the Executive to account;

• ensuring that the Board, in reaching decisions, taking proper account of evidence and any guidance provided by Ministers or the sponsor departments;

• encouraging high standards of governance, propriety and promoting the efficient and effective use of staff and resources throughout Seafish including promoting openness and transparency in how Seafish conducts its business and financial strategy;

• taking a key role in representing the Board and Seafish in communications with key senior stakeholders and partners.

Person Specification

Candidates must be able to demonstrate all of the following essential criteria:

1. The ability to provide effective strategic leadership and support the reform of a complex and dynamic UK-based delivery organisation during a challenging period of change in a political and stakeholder influenced environment.

2. The ability and capacity to champion and be an ambassador for Seafish by clearly communicating its strategic direction and mission to support a profitable, sustainable and socially responsible future for the seafood industry.

3. The ability to engage and influence a diverse group of senior stakeholders and partners to deliver a top quality service to customers.

4. The ability to build an effective team culture, create consensus and find practical solutions both within the Board and in the way the wider organisation does business.

5. Proven expertise in financial and resource management, audit and governance.

The successful candidate must also uphold and be seen to uphold the 7 principles of public life.

Additional Information

Seafish is an industry-levy funded body jointly sponsored by the four fisheries administrations; Scottish Government, Welsh Government, the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and Defra.

Seafish carries out a wide range of activities aiming to promote the consumption of seafood, enhance the reputation of the industry and support the collection of data and provision of information, evidence and advice for decision-making in the supply chain. It offers regulatory guidance and services to all parts of the seafood industry, including catching and aquaculture, processors, importers, exporters and distributors of seafood, as well as restaurants and retailers.

One of the key challenges for Seafish in the next five years will be to support and guide the seafood industry through the changing landscape that leaving the EU presents.

About the board

Meeting on a quarterly basis, the board ensures that Seafish is managed properly and effectively by providing strategic leadership, direction, support and guidance.

The Seafish board currently consists of seven non-executive members. All are appointed by Ministers in the UK’s four fisheries administrations (with the exception of Northern Ireland at this time).

Four board members, including the Chair and Deputy Chair, must be independent of the UK sea fish industry. Other board members should represent the interests of the sea fish and seafood industry.

How to Apply

All candidates are required to complete the following forms:

• Monitoring form 1 (Conflicts of Interest, Conduct and Political Activity Questionnaire)

• Monitoring form 2 (Diversity Monitoring Questionnaire)

Candidates should submit their CV with education, professional qualifications and employment history and the names and contact details for two referees, together with their statement of suitability.

The statement of suitability should give evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the essential criteria for this role. Please provide specific examples to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria (max two pages please).

Your CV and statement should be returned to the following address by the closing date: 12.00 (midday) on Friday 6 November 2020. Email to quoting reference APT 08-20.

For further information about the role please email:

1_Seafish Chair_Advert
3_Monitoring form 1 (Conflicts of Interest and Conduct)
4_Monitoring form 2 (Diversity and political activity form)
5_Public Appointments Guidance Notes
6_Public Appointments Privacy Notice
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